Big Switch CEO Pushes SDN Vendor's New Strategy
A survey by Quinstreet Enterprise—publisher of eWEEK—found that that SDN is getting a lot of attention from enterprises, but that it's still an emerging technology and right now has little penetration in the enterprise. However, Murray expects that 2014 will be the year that the hype starts giving way to reality. Organizations are getting a better grasp on SDN and what it can do, and vendors are ramping up their portfolios. "This will be the year of a lot of products," he said. "We have a large [number] of products coming out this year, and we're not alone." Key among those products coming from Big Switch will be its Cloud Fabric offering, which will include software for managing cloud operations. Murray also said the company will bring out new applications to enhance what the network can do.Openness will continue to be a key for Big Switch, he said. The company has joined the Open Networking Forum (ONF) and the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP), and is a big supporter of OpenStack. The company this month donated code from its Open Network Linux networking distribution, Murray said. "Everything we do is designed around openness," he said. Big Switch made headlines last summer when it broke with the vendor-driven OpenDaylight Project, which earlier this month launched the initial software release of its Hydrogen SDN platform. Murray said that as a small company, Big Switch needs to keep its options open but also needs to be realistic about how many open groups it can join. While not necessarily against what OpenDaylight is doing, the CEO said he will wait to see how what the group is doing dovetails with his company's ambitions before making any decisions about it.
A challenge for Big Switch this year will be to define its strategy and products in the industry. The company includes major firms like Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Investments among its customers, and Murray said there are companies that already are testing Cloud Fabric in their environments. What Big Switch officials also will be pushing are use cases that can highlight the company's technologies, according to the CEO.