Light Reading

Big Switch Puts OpenDaylight to the Test

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

Big Switch Networks has said it's contributing an OpenFlow controller to the OpenDaylight effort, but that doesn't mean just Floodlight, the open-source portion of its controller. No, the company contributed "a substantial portion" of its commercial product, the Big Network Controller, says Jason Matlof, Big Switch's vice president of marketing. "We're going in deep," he tells Light Reading. That pits Big Switch's controller against the Cisco Systems Inc. ONE Controller, setting up an early test of OpenDaylight's meritocratic approach. OpenDaylight has aroused a lot of suspicion, considering its central founding members -- Cisco and IBM Corp. -- arguably have a lot to lose if startups (and VMware Inc., which now owns startup Nicira) dominated the SDN conversation. OpenDaylight's stated purpose is to create a common SDN platform that all vendors can build from. The platform will consist of open-source code contributed by members, and the claim is that politics won't pollute the selection process -- a claim that was emphasized by Chairman Inder Gopal at this week's Open Networking Summit. (See What OpenDaylight Really Wants to Do.) Big Switch thinks Floodlight, by itself, can best any controller on the market. But submitting Floodlight to the OpenDaylight screening process wouldn't be much of a commitment; pretty much anybody who wants that code already has it. So, Big Switch submitted a good chunk of its formerly proprietary controller as well, which the company believes will make its controller the ridiculously obvious choice. Whether the rest of OpenDaylight agrees won't be known until the third quarter, when the consortium starts announcing which pieces of code it's selected. What this does to Big Switch's business model is unclear. Big Switch has said all along that it believes the controller itself will be commoditized, and that the real money in SDN will be in applications. — Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Craig Matsumoto
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2013 | 7:22:52 PM
re: Big Switch Puts OpenDaylight to the Test
The Big Switch code has now been added to the OpenDaylight wiki, apparently.
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/19/2013 | 6:36:22 PM
re: Big Switch Puts OpenDaylight to the Test
The problem is that the "who-has-the-best-controller" fight is meaningless absent functionality at layers above the controller where nobody is doing much, in public at least. Without service intelligence to drive controller behavior we're looking at two sewer pipes sticking out of the ground and arguing over which is the better bathroom.
Craig Matsumoto
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/18/2013 | 10:34:02 PM
re: Big Switch Puts OpenDaylight to the Test
I like this move by Big Switch. It feels like when someone makes an ingenious move in a tabletop strategy game.-á
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