SDN Whitebox switch vendors and startups in the market - A Closer look - Tech.in | 5G, SDN/NFV & MEC

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

SDN Whitebox switch vendors and startups in the market - A Closer look

One of the promises of SDN technology, is to detach the tentacles holding the hardware and software together, and make the network equipment more open for innovation. When the SDN movement started 10 years back, a number of startups sprouted to develop open networking operating systems and white box switches for data centers. They rolled up their sleeves to make switching software more open and more programmable. This article will look at some of the SDN whitebox switch vendors and startups in the market, that have evolved over the last decade.


BigSwitch Networks (https://www.bigswitch.com/)

Big Switch's Company logo

When was the company founded?

Big Switch Networks was founded in 2010. Big Switch was known for its Floodlight SDN Controller, which got open sourced in the year 2012.

What are the company's products?

Big Cloud Fabric is the key product offering from Big Switch. It enables virtual private cloud (VPC) based logical networking, delivering network automation and visibility to both on-premise enterprise clouds and multiple public clouds. It is offered in two variants - Enterprise Cloud and Public Cloud.

The company also offers other products for monitoring and analytics.

What are the company's differentiators?

Big Cloud Fabric uses virtual private cloud (VPC) as the basic construct in both on-premises enterprise clouds and multiple public clouds. It provides a consistent network management and operations management capabilities, simplifying Day-0 through Day-2 operations for customers.

Who are the key customers?

Big Switch claims to have customers including 20% of the Fortune 100 companies. Some of its key customers are Verizon, VMWare, Visa and T-Mobile.

What is the current status of the company?

Big Switch has raised $111.7M funds and its estimated annual revenue is $36M. Some of its investors include Dell Technologies Capital, Intel Capital and Khosla Ventures.

Cumulus (https://cumulusnetworks.com/)

Cumulus Networks's Company logo
When was the company founded?

Cumulus was founded in 2010.

What are the company's products?

Cumulus is one of the pioneers in the industry offering open networking operating system for whitebox switches. Cumulus Linux is their key product offering, which is an open network operating system that allows you to automate, customize and scale your datacenter networks.

What are the company's differentiators?

Cumulus provides support for 100+ hardware platforms including industry standard hardware that are Open Compute Platform (OCP) and ONIE (Open Networking Install Environment) compliant. Cumulus is the first white box software vendor to add support for Minipack, Facebook's latest OCP compliant reference design.

Who are the key customers?

Cumulus claims to have 34% of the Fortune 50 companies. Some of its key customers are Verizon, NTT, Yahoo Japan, Qualcomm and Paypal.  

What is the current status of the company?

Cumulus has raised $129M funds and its annual revenue is $15M. Some of its investors include Sequoia Capital and Telstra Ventures. 

Pica8 (https://www.pica8.com/)

Pica8's Company logo
When was the company founded?

Pica8 was founded in 2009.

What are the company's products?

Pica8's key product offering is PICOS, an open networking software. PICOS provides tightly coupled control planes, giving network operators non-disruptive control of their enterprise applications; deep and dynamic traffic monitoring; and attack mitigation – all in real time.

What are the company's differentiators?

PICOS supports a functionality called CrossFlow, which is only available from Pica8. CrossFlow functionality tightly couples L2/L3 control plane and classic “SDN” control plane to give network operators real-time, non-disruptive control of their enterprise applications; deep and dynamic traffic monitoring; and even attack mitigation without interrupting flow processing or requiring switch restarts.

Who are the key customers?

Pica8 claims to have over 900 customers in 30+ countries. Some of its key customers include General Electric, Stratedge and Edge Core. What is the current status of the company?

Pica8 raised $18M in funding and its current annual revenue is approximately, $3.2M per annum. Some of its investors are Vantage Point Capital Partners, Pacific Venture Partners


Plexxi (https://www.plexxi.com/)


Plexxi's Company logo

When was the company founded?

Plexxi was founded in 2010.

What are the company's products?

The company's key product offering is Plexxi Switch, which enables customers to build public and private clouds for the next era of IT. Post the HPE acquisition, this product is getting integrated into the HPE Composable Fabric ecosystem.

What are the company's differentiators?

Plexxi's product supports Composable infrastructure delivering fluid pools of networking resources that can be composed and recomposed as needed, based on the network load.

Who are the key customers?

Some of Plexxi's customers include Arrow Electronics, SafeGuard Scientifics and Jefferies Financial Group. 

What is the current status of the company?

Plexxi got acquired by HPE in May 2018. The company raised a total funding of $83.4M, with an estimated revenue of $12.2M per annum. Some of its investors include Matrix Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. 

Pluribus (https://www.pluribusnetworks.com/)


Pluribus Networks's Company logo

When was the company founded?

Pluribus was founded in 2010.

What are the company's products?

Pluribus' key product offering is Netvisor ONE Operating System, which is a Layer 2/3 Switching Optimized to meet the requirements for Distributed Enterprise and Service Provider Networks.

What are the company's differentiators?

Pluribus supports a peer-to-peer architecture, which eliminates the need for SDN controller and simplifies the overall network architecture. It supports Open Compute Platform (OCP) and Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) standards.

Who are the key customers?

Pluribus claims to have 2 out of the top 10 computing companies, and 1 out of the 5 global banks as its customers. Some of its key customers are Cloudfare, Steelcase and Tibco. What is the current status of the company?

Pluribus has raised $92.5M, so far from investors. It's current revenue is $20M per annum. Some of its investors are Ericsson Ventures, Menlo Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and CBC Capital.

NoviFlow (https://noviflow.com)

NoviFlow's Company logo

When was the company founded?

Noviflow was founded in 2012.

What are the company's products?

Noviflow's key product offering is NoviWare™ Network Operating System software which can be deployed in network switches, WAN IP/MPLS routers, network appliances and other high-bandwidth forwarding planes. It is compliant with OpenFlow 1.3/1.4 and 1.5 protocol versions.

What are the company's differentiators?

Noviflow offers the industry’s most complete implementation of the OpenFlow 1.3/1.4/1.5 protocol standard.

(Also read: Open Flow Switches & Switch Vendors)

Who are the key customers?

Noviflow's key customers are Telstra group and Chunghwa. They are also partnered with companies like Fortinet and Lumina Networks to offer combined solutions to customers. 

What is the current status of the company?

Noviflow has raised a funding of $9M, so far. They are currently generating a revenue of less than $1M per year. Some of its investors are Fonds de solidarit√© FTQ and Plug 'n Play. 

(Credits: The source data for this research is from www.owler.com, www.crunchbase.com, www.hgdata.com, www.featuredcustomers.com and the respective company websites)https://www.thetech.in/2012/12/openflow-switches-vendors-for-sdn.html

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