It has been a remarkable 2014 at Big Switch. I am incredibly proud of the team and the great relationships formed with customers and partners around the world.

Networking Today: It’s a New World

What’s clear is that we are witnessing a tectonic shift in the market as evident in the efforts in Open Compute (OCP), Facebook’s announcement of Wedge and FBOSS, and of course Google Andromeda. In 2014, Bare Metal switch ports exceeded 10% of market. Add to that, the incumbents are now starting to embrace open networking, including our partner Dell, and most recently Juniper Networks. This market shift will continue in 2015 and by 2017 we will be looking at a very different networking industry.

And if that wasn't enough, Goliath is threatened. To use the movie theater analogy, in Theater 1 we have overlay networking (a la VMware NSX) making Cisco’s hardware defined networking virtually irrelevant. In Theater 2, Cisco’s taking very public action against Arista in the hopes of slowing it down. In Theater 3, we have hyperscale companies like Google and Facebook demonstrating the benefits of SDN and bare metal. And in Theater 4, a wave of networking innovators such as Big Switch and Cumulus are executing on new approaches to transform the industry. Get comfy in your chair and grab your popcorn ... because for the first time in many years, it's an exciting time to be in networking!

What about Big Switch?

While 2013 was a year of strategic change, 2014 was a year of execution and momentum. Reflecting back on 2014, some of the highlights included:

  • Customer wins across Financials, Carriers, Federal, Higher Ed, and Tech. This included our first two $1M+ customers with several more in flight. We have now sold Big Tap and Big Cloud Fabric to customers across the US, APAC, and EMEA, including customers such as Clemson University that have bought both products. Our largest customer is now live in 18 data centers globally. All of this equated to four record quarters in a row.

  • The announcement of our relationship with Dell, the first of the incumbents to move to “modern networking.”

  • Multiple releases of Big Tap, including Big Tap 4.0 in August which included Dell platform as well as Trident-II 10G and 40G support. 4.0 also included features such as tunneling and DPM (deeper packet matching) to expand Tap Every Rack and Tap Every Location use cases.

  • The introduction of Big Cloud Fabric in Q3 – the world’s first and only bare metal SDN fabric for use cases such as private/public clouds, Big Data, VDI, SDS, and NFV. This consists of innovations such as zero touch fabric operations, ultra-fast hitless upgrade, REST APIs, a killer GUI, fabric wide visibility and troubleshooting, OpenStack, CloudStack, and multi-vendor Trident-II switches supported.

  • Making a statement around the value and reliability of our fabric architectures via the Chaos Monkey “torture test” done in partnership with Mirantis.

  • Investment in Sales and GTM, more than tripling our sales force in 2014 including the launch of our Japan (KK) subsidiary.

  • Moving offices in July to accommodate our growth, which included the build out of a start-of-the-art Data Center...and at a site with much better parking.

  • Advancing relationships with A10, BlueCoat, Citrix, FireEye, Mirantis, Riverbed, RedHat, and many others.

  • Investing to accelerate Open Networking with an emphasis on Open Compute and OpenStack, including the submission of Open Network Linux (ONL) to OCP.

  • ...and with all of this we even found time to do the Ice Bucket Challenge and watch the San Francisco Giants win the World Series.

I couldn't be more proud of the team we are building and the future ahead.

What’s in Store for 2015?

It is clear that the market shift will accelerate next year. In 2015, I predict that:

  • Bare metal will exceed 15% of ports shipped.

  • Two more publicly held networking vendors will embrace a modern disaggregated (hardware/software) approach.

  • At least 10% of the Global 2000 organizations will move from testing to deploying bare metal and/or SDN solutions.

  • A wave of industry consolidation begins in both the network packet broker (NPB) and Ethernet switching markets.

At Big Switch, we have a great deal on Tap (pun intended) for 2015. Product enhancements, new use cases, extending our partnership initiatives, expansion into new geographies, and investment in our people. Just wait until you see what we have up our sleeves for 2015…

Thank you for the great support in 2014. Happy New Year!

--Douglas Murray, Big Switch CEO