Virtualization Technology News and Information
Big Switch Networks' OpenFlow-Based Controller Goes Into Beta
Big Switch Networks, an OpenFlow company bringing the benefits of virtualization and cloud architecture to enterprise networks, today announced that its Controller has moved into private beta.

"This is a big milestone for us," said Guido Appenzeller, CEO of Big Switch Networks. "We've been in alpha since January and have proven the OpenFlow basics in our alpha customers' production networks. We are excited to take the next step as we put our network virtualization architecture into beta."

The OpenFlow standard, backed by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others, enables networks to evolve more rapidly by giving owners and operators better control over their networks and the ability to program network behavior. Big Switch Networks' Controller is based on OpenFlow and virtualizes the network in the enterprise data center, making it possible for an enterprise to overlay virtual networks on top of their physical devices.

With Big Switch Networks' Controller, individual users and applications are able to take control of different parts of the same network, creating a multi-tenancy model for managing enterprise networks. Each of these internal tenants then manage their own software-defined network rather than managing the underlying physical network and operate each one of these virtual networks like one big virtual switch.

The three tier architecture comprises:

1. Big Switch Networks' Controller - a software platform that implements the server side of the OpenFlow protocol, virtualizes the physical resources in the network and provides common components used across OpenFlow Applications

2. OpenFlow Applications - network control applications built on an the Controller's open API that represent a tenant's software-defined devices and features, e.g. virtual switches, virtual firewalls or connectors to server virtualization software

3. Switch Vendors' OpenFlow-Enabled Switches - ethernet switches, both physical and hypervisor-based, that represent the data plane of an OpenFlow architecture by implementing the client side of the OpenFlow protocol

Big Switch Networks' milestones include:

  • March 2010: Big Switch Networks was founded
  • April 2010: Big Switch Networks raised $1.4 million seed funding
  • January 2011: Big Switch Networks' Controller went into alpha deployments at three research universities
  • April 2011: Big Switch Networks raised $13.75 million Series A funding led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures
  • April 2011: Big Switch Networks joined the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) that was formed to promote OpenFlow and speed networking innovation
  • May 2011: Big Switch Networks' Controller was shown in its first public demo in a network with OpenFlow-enabled switches from 12 different vendors at Interop's InteropNet OpenFlow Lab
  • June 2011: Big Switch Networks presented at GigaOM's Structure LaunchPad
  • July 2011: Big Switch Networks was named one of the coolest cloud startups of 2011 by CRN
  • August 2011: Big Switch Networks' Controller went into private beta
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011 5:01 PM by David Marshall
Filed under:
Big Switch Networks » Blog Archive » In The News - (Author's Link) - August 25, 2011 11:06 PM
mscohen02 - (Author's Link) - October 10, 2011 3:43 PM

If you are interesting in getting a flavor for OpenFlow, you may also want to check out some of the projects hosted on  

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