Founded in 2010, Big Switch Networks released its first product earlier this year, an open source controller called Floodlight, which is giving developers a taste of SDN’s potential.
Big Network Controller is based on Footlight. But BNC, an application platform that delivers unified network intelligence and abstraction, is made for enterprises with a set of services including role-based access control.
It can support up to 250,000 new host connections per second, Harding said.
Big Virtual Switch dynamically provisions virtual network segments so network can be sliced up like virtual servers.
As a result, workloads can be mixed across virtual servers and improve VM density.
Big Virtual Switch can integrate into orchestration systems such as OpenStack, CloudStack, VMware vCenter and Microsoft Systems Center.
While many see the ideal SDN network controllers linked to switches through the OpenFlow protocol, some see the need for an overlay network.
Harding said Big Virtual Switch also can work in hybrid environments with non-OpenFlow switches, virtual switches and OpenFlow top of rack switches.
Big Virtual Switch, which starts at under US$4,200 a month, and Big Network Controller, which starts at under $1,700, come in a bundled suite.
Bit Tap, which starts at under $500 a month, is sold separately.
Still, SDN is an emerging technology. Kindness notes that universities and telecom carriers are excited about the potential of SDN, but are still in the testing phase. One of SDN’s hurdles is that data centre operations and networking staff don’t yet have the software coding capabilities to take advantage of it, he said. For that reason alone enterprises won’t be putting it into production yet, he said.
Kerravala also predicts only a small number of SDN implementations in enterprises in the near future.
Eight-five per cent of companies he talks to are still researching software-defined networks. Google is deeply involved in SDN, he admits, but it has 100 network engineers.
“The principles of SDN are sound, but it’s very complicated (today). I’ve always said you don’t want a solution to a problem to be more complicated than the problem.”
If organizations see practical use cases and case studies, he said, that will be a big help.