Virtualization Technology News and Information
Big Switch Networks Fuels OpenFlow Adoption with Switch Light, the Industry’s First Open Source Thin Switching Software Platform for SDN

Big Switch Networks today announced a revolution in open software-defined networking (SDN) with the introduction of the industry’s first thin switching software platform, Switch Light. Switch Light is open source software that can be deployed as a virtual switch for server hypervisors and in merchant silicon-based physical switching platforms, commonly known as white box switches. Switch Light liberates customers from historically proprietary, closed networking architectures, and accelerates the adoption of OpenFlow-based networking, significantly lowering capital costs by providing choice in networking hardware and dramatically reducing operational overhead by tying together virtual and physical networks with an automated and centralized common provisioning and management model. Initially, Switch Light will be available to run on a range of merchant silicon-based physical switches (Switch Light for Broadcom) and virtual switches (Switch Light for Linux), and will be ported to other data plane devices in the future.

Switch Light extends Big Switch Networks Open SDN Suite, which includes both open source and commercial solutions for the community and enterprise customers. Switch Light is based on the open source Indigo Project, a sub-project within Project Floodlight, the leading open source SDN community project. Project Floodlight is a community of developers and users and is the source of the Floodlight controller, the Indigo OpenFlow agent, and several open-source applications and utilities. Big Switch will make Switch Light available free of charge and offer technical support and a range of services to commercial users when Switch Light is deployed with other offerings of the Big Switch Open SDN Suite – Big Network Controller, Big Virtual Switch, or Big Tap.

Big Switch is working with go to market partners for Switch Light at every link of the value chain, including Broadcom as a leading merchant silicon partner, and Accton and Quanta for merchant silicon-based switches. Extreme Networks, a key Big Switch data center switching partner, will be enhancing their hybrid switch offerings by supporting Switch Light. Together, these partnerships will provide customers will a powerful range of complete Open SDN solutions, based on open standards, open source and open architectures at competitive prices and feature sets.

Switch Light Highlights

Dramatic cost reduction with Zero-Touch Networking

  • Eliminates manual provisioning tasks through central provisioning
  • Network automation eliminates majority of service request and change management tasks
  • Open source enables lowest capital and operational expenditures (capex and opex)

Network agility and automation

  • Automated and centralized network provisioning
  • Integrated control of physical and virtual switches
  • Central programmability of network applications

Freedom from the shackles of proprietary network stacks

  • Eliminates proprietary vendor lock-in
  • Introduces multi-vendor options in networking hardware

Supporting Quotes

Big Switch Networks
“In making our open-source thin switching platform available to the market, we aim to accelerate the development of OpenFlow-based switches, both through ODM and OEM partners, thereby catalyzing the deployment of OpenFlow networks,” said Guido Appenzeller, CEO of Big Switch Networks. “Customers are demanding choice in Open SDN hardware and want to unite their physical and virtual platforms. Switch Light is an important step down that path.”

Accton Technology Corporation
“By delivering highly reliable, standards-based switches for data center top-of-rack deployments and spine networks, Accton helps customers reduce the cost of their private and public cloud infrastructures,” said George Tchaparian, CTO and senior vice president of Accton Technology. “Accton’s Gigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethernet and 40G Ethernet switch hardware products together with Big Switch Networks Switch Light will provide customers with a complete SDN solution that reduces capital and operating costs while enabling more rapid provisioning of new applications and capacity.”

Broadcom Corporation
“Broadcom’s StrataXGS devices help datacenters improve application performance, agility and asset utilization by delivering high performance connectivity, enabling workload mobility and network automation,” said Sujal Das, Broadcom director of product marketing, infrastructure and networking. “The combination of silicon leadership, comprehensive SDK, and SDN API capabilities make the Broadcom platform ideally suited for Open SDN innovations. We are pleased that Big Switch has chosen our platform to develop their Switch Light solution.”

Extreme Networks
"Extreme Networks leading Open Fabric switching solution provides a seamless experience to the customer though open APIs, open standards, and open SDN architectures. The next natural evolution to our hybrid offerings based on ExtremeXOS is an SDN-centric thin switching solution,” said Oscar Rodriguez, president and CEO for Extreme Networks. “This allows us to offer customers a broad portfolio of traditional networking devices as well as new SDN networking devices and a migration path from traditional to newer SDN networks."

Quanta QCT
"Quanta has a proven record of success and leadership in deploying servers, storage and top of rack switches to big datacenters,” said Mike Yang, general manager and vice president of Quanta QCT. “We see demand for a similar model in the networking market that keeps growing but has traditionally been dominated by proprietary vendors. Partnering with an SDN innovator like Big Switch gives our clients a reliable choice with a complete open SDN stack."

International Data Corporation
"With the increasing adoption of cloud computing, enterprises are seeking greater flexibility in their network architectures and as well as increased agility from the datacenter networks that support their applications," said Brad Casemore, IDC research director for datacenter networks. "In that context, Switch Light can be viewed as a logical response to market demand as well as evidence of the maturation and progression of the SDN ecosystem. Customers are looking at how the entire SDN stack supports their applications and their overall business requirements, and the vendor community is responding accordingly."

The source code repositories for both Indigo and the Floodlight Controller are available now at The commercial offering, Switch Light, is currently in early access with customers, will be available in a limited beta release in June 2013, and generally available in the second half of 2013. Switch Light will also be available as a free download from at that time. Switch Light is supported by Big Switch Networks. Switch Light for Linux and KVM is available as a free download from

Published Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:38 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - March 26, 2013 6:44 AM

Big Switch Networks today announced that Project Floodlight has grown to be the world’s largest open source SDN community, already encompassing over 200,000 lines of code, 15,000 downloads of the Floodlight controller, and contains contributions from

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