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February 08, 2013

Intel Invests in SDN Vendor Big Switch Networks

Software-defined networking outfit Big Switch Networks today announced it has received new funding through a Series B round, which included Intel Capital as a new investor.

Big Switch to date has received more than $45 million in funding from new investor Intel Capital, as well as Goldman Sach, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and others.

“Data center operators need programmable and cost-effective merchant silicon-based networking architectures to meet their data center economic and operational objectives,” said Bryan Wolf, managing director of Intel Capital. “At Intel Capital, we’re looking for companies creating the most disruptive data center solutions, and Big Switch Networks Open Software-Defined Networking product suite is a leading solution in data center network virtualization.”

Big Switch Networks last year brought to market its solution, which addresses network virtualization and network monitoring applications. The suite includes the Big Network Controller, an SDN platform for network applications that scales to more than a thousand switches and 250,000 new host connections per second; the Big Virtual Switch, a data center network virtualization application that makes the data center network as agile and dynamic as cloud compute resources and enables up to 50 percent more virtual machines per rack; and Big Tap, a unified network monitoring application that provides enterprise-wide network visibility.

As will be discussed in the upcoming March issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine, SDN is considered by many to be one of the most important, and potentially disruptive, developments in networking since the rise of the Internet. To date, networks and connectivity have come first, and applications have followed.

The software-defined network turns this model on its head, approaching networking from an application- and services-first standpoint. 

“To me, [SDN] is one of the most interesting pivot points in networking I’ve seen pretty much since the Internet,” said Eve Griliches, vice president of optical research at ACG Research, a panelist at the recent SDN Precon at ITEXPO Miami.

This architecture separates the control and data planes of the network, she explained. But Griliches added it’s really about much more than that. SDN is about looking at active flows in the network, understanding the requirements of those different flows, and using the network to provide those flows with the appropriate bandwidth and other network resources.

What SDN will do is open up the network in the way we’ve opened up the applications on the iPhone to enhance what we are doing in the network, she said. This view of the network is very disruptive considering we’ve traditionally built networks from the ground up, with connectivity at the forefront.

“It’s an entire paradigm shift here, and people are going to have to think very differently with SDN,” she said.

To learn more about this subject, TMC invites you to attend SDN Precon, Monday, Aug. 26 at Mandalay Bay. This event is part of ITEXPO Las Vegas.

Edited by Braden Becker

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