I’m starting to understand and agree with the value applications making API calls into a Software Defined Network. Before watching the video on SDN from Structure, I would have never believed data center providers would let software/applications define the peering relationship with other data center providers. This is a completely different way to look at applications and networks. Before we get to that application level integration we need to workout SDN at the hardware layer. Solutions like those developed by Big Switch Networks may eventually be the OpenStack of SDN. It’s too early to tell if it would be Big Switch’s solution itself.
Also, I wouldn’t assume that VMware will close Nicira’s solutions to other platforms. I think 2013 will be the year of the non-VMware hypervisor. The Hypervisor will be a commodity and VMware needs to move beyond being the best hypervisors. Shortly good enough will be good enough.
VMware will need to move up a layer in the stack and focus on where the true value is added in this space which is data center and cloud management. They have the advantage of being able to manage the whole stack. Network is one piece of what the Nicira purchase brings. They’ve purchased a cross platform cloud management company and now the makers of OpenSwitch and changed management. I’m personally anxious to hear their vision for SDN.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Updated: Big Switch, which many in the networking sector have enshrined as Nicira’s rival in software defined networking, said Monday that its Floodlight open-source, SDN controller software has surpassed 6,000 downloads and supports an ecosystem worth $3 billion. This type of momentum release is generally a company’s way of saying, “Hey, look at me,” and isn’t a huge surprise given the slow pace of summer and the fact that Nicira is in the process of selling itself to VMware (s vmw) for $1.26 billion.
Big Switch wants developers, startups and most importantly — potential acquirers — to know that it is not only still relevant, but that it might be the sole “open” choice left for those looking at software defined networking and pondering how to implement the underlying virtualization of the network. Check out the quote form the release from Guido Appenzeller, CEO and co-founder of Big Switch Networks.
“This further solidifies Floodlight’s API interface as the standard for programming SDN networks, and will make it easier for customers to avoid vendor lock-in as OpenFlow applications developed by Big Switch, third parties or their own in-house developers become available.”