Light Reading
A rift forms in the big, happy group. Who could have predicted that?

Big Switch Pulls Back from OpenDaylight

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
6/4/2013
50%
50%

Big Switch is drastically shrinking its support for the OpenDaylight consortium, potentially setting up a battle between certain incumbent vendors, led by Cisco, and what Big Switch describes as the OpenFlow protocol's true believers.

The company is planning to announce the move Wednesday morning on its blog.

Big Switch will still technically be involved as a silver-level member of OpenDaylight, but it's ending its status as a platinum member and quitting the consortium's steering committee.

By being a silver member, rather than dropping out completely, Big Switch can keep an eye on the proceedings. Many of the big vendors involved in OpenDaylight are sitting at just the silver level -- particularly Broadcom, HP and Intel.

For Big Switch, the last straw was the consortium's choice of controller for software-defined networking (SDN).

"SDN, and this is the Open Networking Foundation definition, is about creating the common abstraction between the data plane and the controller -- not creating abstractions for other abstractions," says Jason Matlof, Big Switch's vice president of marketing. "It's not worth dropping ourselves back a year or two in development."

Here's what he's talking about. Big Switch's controller and the Cisco ONE Controller were both submitted as options, and OpenDaylight has chosen to go with a mix of the two, an option called the Dixon-Erickson Proposal. Big Switch is OK with that, but the company doesn't like that the starting point for the OpenDaylight controller will be the Cisco service abstraction layer (SAL), which is an abstraction of OpenFlow -- that's what Matlof means by "abstractions for other abstractions."

Big Switch wanted the starting point to be something more neutral. The result, Matlof says, is that OpenDaylight is "doing a controller that's two years behind where we are today."

He says Big Switch will go back to focusing on promoting OpenFlow fabrics and networks based on generic-hardware switches.

The latter camp got a major vote of support in May, at Interop in Las Vegas, the Open Compute Project announced it would take on networking. That is, there's now an open-source group intent on introducing generic hardware into the Ethernet switching world. (See Open Compute Project Takes On Networking.)

Big Switch is trying to play up its move as a protest rooted not in politics but in technology.

"Customers are asking for all this, and we just can't be driven by the beast that is ODL [OpenDaylight]. It's just a time suck," Matlof says.

In a prepared statement midday Wednesday, the OpenDaylight group said "the facts do not support" the "David vs. Goliath" attitude Big Switch is rocking:

    It's more accurate to say this is open source vs. the goals of a single, for-profit startup. In this case the developer community combined technology from multiple sources (including BSN), which the company obviously didn't like. Open source is based on compromise and working together. Sometimes strong motivations and investor goals can get in the way of that. In the spirit of open source, we fully expect BSN to honor its commitments to this project. We also hope BSN will continue to engage in the community discussions as more eyes on code and more suggestions and alternative approaches in the long run produce the strongest code.

    We've said many times before that the beauty of the open source software development model is the best code always wins -- we never said one company had the best, entire codebase.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
steamerslane
50%
50%
steamerslane,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/6/2013 | 5:43:30 AM
re: Big Switch Pulls Back from OpenDaylight
This was predictable from the start. Good move by Big Switch. I predict a mass ODL exodus over the next few months. Cisco successfully confused the market with ODL (as a defensive maneuver to SDN/Openflow) but the market will quickly recover in favor of openness (which always wins).
Melissa Logan
50%
50%
Melissa Logan,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/5/2013 | 4:58:07 PM
re: Big Switch Pulls Back from OpenDaylight
Hey, saw this story and thought folks might be interested in a blog by our Technical Steering Committee chair that talks about OpenDaylight's base architecture and decision-making process:

http://www.opendaylight.org/bl...

If you're a developer and interested in participating, please join a virtual Hackfest taking place June 6-7 from 9:30am-5pm PT on the #OpenDaylight IRC channel on FreeNode.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive