Nov 13 Virtual networking startup Big Switch
Networks is launching its Open Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
product suite on Tuesday, its first commercial product since it
was founded in 2010.
The product allows customers to change via software the
networks and data centers that they access, avoiding upgrades to
expensive and proprietary hardware, and could threaten the core
business of networking equipment makers such as Cisco Systems
Although the nascent SDN market is still small, its growth
potential has spurred heavy interest in acquiring startups,
especially since VMware bought Nicira in July for around
"This is a very big change in how we build networks," said
Big Switch co-founder Guido Appenzeller, who started the company
with former Cisco product manager Kyle Forster in March 2010.
The startup is backed by ex-Cisco executive Mike Volpi
through Index Ventures as well as Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures
and Redpoint Ventures.
The company said its partners include Arista Networks,
Broadcom Corp, Citrix Systems Inc, Dell Inc
, Juniper Networks Inc and Microsoft Corp
Interest in the SDN sector has been heating up.
"There are currently 20 to 25 venture-funded SDN companies
and a lot of noise in the market," said Brian Marshall, an
analyst at ISI group.
Startup Midokura launched its MidoNet software platform in
the United States last month and Embrane, founded in December
2011 by Dante Malagrino, another ex-Cisco manager, has launched
Startup Vyatta was bought by Brocade Communications Systems
Inc earlier this month.
"We do believe that SDN is here to stay and will eventually
cause substantial shifts in the networking market, beginning in
the data center," said JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall.
"We don't see SDN as a real earnings risk until late 2014.
However, we believe the technology is here to stay and expect
the hype cycle to increase in 2013 as numerous trials deploy,"