Red Hat Certification Caps Big SDN Year for Big Switch Networks

Big Switch Networks Inc. capped off a big year in the software-defined networking (SDN) industry by announcing its flagship networking fabric was awarded certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, laying the groundwork for OpenStack cloud computing implementations.

Big Switch is a leader in the "bare-metal" SDN arena, targeting its Big Cloud Fabric for building out new datacenter pods with low-cost networking devices controlled by open source software in a disaggregated approach that moves network "intelligence" from expensive, proprietary equipment to the software management layer.

OpenStack is an open source cloud computing platform managed by the nonprofit OpenStack Foundation, of which Red Hat is a member. The agreement means customers using the Red Hat distribution can leverage the Big Switch fabric in public or private clouds, for example, providing opportunities for virtualized Big Data analytics workloads and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) use cases.

"The certification of Big Cloud Fabric for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5 enables customers to replace complex and costly legacy box-by-box networking with SDN fabric," Big Switch said in a statement. "The Big Cloud Fabric plug-in for OpenStack Neutron provides dynamic creation of network segments on the physical leaf/spine SDN fabric. Additional support for OpenStack Nova networking provides increased flexibility to customers."

Last month's announcement highlighted a busy year for Big Switch, which launched its Big Cloud Fabric in July and followed up with starter kits to provide an easy SDN onramp in October. In April, the company inked an agreement with hardware giant Dell Inc. in which some of that company's switches ship with Big Switch software. Big Switch, continually challenging traditional powerhouse networking vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc. with its new-age SDN approach, described Dell as "the first of the incumbents to move to 'modern networking.'"

Recapping the year, CEO Douglas Murray announced record growth for the company and touted gains in customer adoption, partnerships and product innovation.

"In 2014, bare metal switch ports exceeded 10 percent of market," Murray said in a year-ending blog post. "Add to that, the incumbents are now starting to embrace open networking, including our partner Dell, and most recently Juniper Networks. This market shift will continue in 2015 and by 2017 we will be looking at a very different networking industry."

Murray also took a few more pot-shots at Cisco ("Goliath is threatened") and forecasted more big industry changes in the year ahead, including:

  • Bare metal will exceed 15 percent of ports shipped.
  • Two more publicly held networking vendors will embrace a modern disaggregated (hardware/software) approach.
  • At least 10 percent of the Global 2000 organizations will move from testing to deploying bare metal and/or SDN solutions.
  • A wave of industry consolidation begins in both the network packet broker (NPB) and Ethernet switching markets.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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