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Posts Tagged ‘Big Switch Networks’

Big Switch stole many of the networking headlines this week when it announced its Switch Light software release. Switch Light, based on the open source technology Indigo, can be used on commodity white box switches to create an OpenFlow-based switch than can be used as part of a software defined network implementation. One of the elements of the press release that I felt flew under the radar, was that Extreme Networks would be the only “mainstream” network vendor that was committing to this reference architecture for a rack switch.

Extreme will later this year introduce its Slalom switch, which will be an optimized SDN switch running the thin virtual network software. Slalom will complement Extreme’s Open Fabric portfolio that has a number of SDN-capable switches in both stackable and chassis-based forms. Slalom will be a 48-port Gig-E Ethernet switch that will be based on a “white box” solution.

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It’s hard to believe, but we’re almost at the end of 2012, which means it’s time to look ahead towards 2013. I wrote a predictions blog earlier that looked at a few trends, but I think there are a handful of companies worth watching next year. As you can imagine, some of them are smaller startups, but some are more established companies.

Magor

Located in Kanata, Ottawa, Magor doesn’t get nearly the same level of media coverage as the louder, more brash Vidyo, but the Magor solution is every bit as game changing, in many ways more so. Magor leverages the flexibility of SVC, desktop sharing and UC to create a unique collaborative environment. Anyone I’ve talked to who has used the solution based on “visual conversations” loves it. Magor’s challenge for 2013 is to raise the level of awareness so people don’t say “who?” when I ask them if they’ve tried the solution.

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This morning, SDN startup Big Switch unveiled its strategy to end what might be the worst job of being in stealth mode in the history of networking. I’m not sure that anyone in the networking industry wasn’t at least partially aware of what Big Switch was doing. However, there were gaps in my and others’ knowledge, so today’s announcement clarifies the strategy. It certainly lived up to the hype, which isn’t easy considering the publicity surrounding SDNs since VMware’s acquisition of Nicira.

I was half expecting a “me too” announcement from Big Switch to announce a controller and then ride on the coat tails of VMware/Nicira, but the company announcements were differentiated from the rest of the field and from what my expectations were. Here are the highlights of the announcement:

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The concept of “software defined networks” (SDNs) has become all the rage in networking over the past year or so. Now, I do believe that the “mouthshare” for SDNs far exceeds the amount of money being spent on it, but it’s clear, from the inquiries I get from network managers trying to understand what SDNs are and if they’re applicable for their organizations, that SDNs will be here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The majority of the SDN push has been by startups, such as Arista, Nicera and Big Switch or lesser-known network vendors like NEC, but this week, the high-performance network specialist Brocade unveiled its SDN strategy, making it the first mainstream vendor to give product-level details of its SDN plans. Back in June of 2010, Brocade was the first traditional network vendor to publicly announce support for OpenFlow and SDN, so its product announcements show consistency with this strategy.

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