Unless you were under a rock, you could not have helped but notice that the OpenDaylight SDN consortium project officially launched today after months of leaks and lots of speculation about what it is and is not, who is in and who is not, and what ultimately will be the benefit, if any, to end users. The broad embrace by the incumbent IT vendor community is an enormous validation of the Open SDN architecture that we've built over these last 3 years.  We are very gratified that clearly the time has come to transition to Software-Defined Networking.

Open Daylight

Big Switch Networks joined OpenDaylight as a platinum member, which is the highest membership level possible. Some might be surprised by this, considering Big Switch has led the open SDN revolution and has the world’s leading open source SDN controller in Floodlight. So why, you ask, did Big Switch join a group of vendors, mostly composed of incumbent vendors who stand to lose a lot if standards really take hold in SDN?

There are a few important reasons we joined. First, overall growth in SDN is important for us as it is for any young SDN company.  The member vendors in OpenDaylight are the big dogs of networking and virtualization.  Together, operating in a true meritocracy, users stand to gain a lot from this sort of collaboration between legacy vendors and innovative upstarts joining forces, which in turn benefits all.

Big Switch 3 tier software Defined Networking (SDN) Architecture

Secondly, we believe we can help – a lot. Big Switch code, which is based on the wildly popular open source Floodlight controller, has been in community use for over two years and we are enthusiastic about contributing our established code and experience to OpenDaylight, believing that our controller code and applications can help get OpenDaylight to maturity much faster than if we did not participate. Big Switch has contributed its open source controller code to the project, which you can see on the wiki here. The Big Switch controller has already open sourced over 200,000 lines of code to Project Floodlight and over 15,000 community members have downloaded the code.

 Finally, we honestly do see ourselves as champions of the user and are passionate about open standards. Our pedigree goes back to the origins of OpenFlow. Our CEO, Guido Appenzeller, our CTO Rob Sherwood, and our Senior Architect Dan Talayco were three of a small group of people who developed and delivered OpenFlow 1.0 to the user-led Open Networking Foundation from the Stanford Clean Slate Lab. Standards are a real big thing at Big Switch, real big.  Therefore, we are joining to ensure that this ecosystem remains true to the spirit of an Open System Architecture, like Floodlight.

Call us suspicious but hopeful, that to the extent that OpenDaylight remains a merit-based organization and is committed to driving open standards in software-defined networking, we are excited to be part of the community and it is 100% consistent with everything that we stand for as a company. 

 Jason Matlof, Big Switch Networks VP of Marketing