Brocade Branches Out SDN Controller Into Lumina

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 08, 2017

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Brocade is spinning off its SDN controller into a startup called Lumina Networks, which it acquired in recent months. Andrew Coward, the former VP of strategy at Brocade Communications, has become the CEO of Lumina Networks, the new company built with the software-defined networking (SDN) controller assets from Brocade. Lumina Networks, which launched today, will be headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in the U.K., India, and Australia. Its controller, which is based on OpenDaylight (ODL), will be called the Lumina SDN Controller.

Along with a leading SDN Controller solution, powered by OpenDaylight, Lumina brings a talented team of network software engineers and existing customer engagements with some of the world’s largest service providers. Offering the Lumina SDN Controller, applications and Network Development (NetDev) Services, Lumina is the catalyst that brings open software networking out of the lab and into production networks.

About three years ago, the Brocade controller started as an OpenDaylight distribution — that is, as Brocade’s implementation of OpenDaylight’s open source controller. Using OpenDaylight as its preferred open source controller, Lumina enables service providers to directly control their SDN implementations while providing the flexibility to develop their own solutions through their choice of vendors thus eliminating lock-in. Brocade’s strategy, in contrast to other vendors such as Cisco, was to build a purely open source SDN offering.  

“Transitioning to software-based networks can dramatically lower capital and operational costs while transforming network functionality and customer experience. Yet, the complexity of the transition from hardware to software, along with the crucial requirement of independence from vendors, has made it difficult for service providers to move beyond lab trials and into production environments. This is where open source-based networking technology can help,” the company said in a statement.

“Our job is to be the catalyst to help service providers bring open software networking out of the lab and into their live network,” said Andrew Coward, chief executive officer, Lumina Networks. “We started Lumina Networks to ensure providers can use open source in critical use cases. But just delivering technology is not enough. Our customers are doing the implementation with us, so they can learn and acquire the skills, tools and practices needed to develop and manage the platforms we jointly deploy.” 

Lumina also offers NetDev Services to help organizations transform their network engineering and operations team. The NetDev Services team at Lumina works with customers to jointly develop production systems using agile methods to prototype and speed through proof-of-concept and pilot phases. Lumina NetDev Services builds solutions using Lumina, open source tools or competitive products.  The company’s methodologies enable customer teams to become self-sufficient in developing and managing their new open source platforms.

 “By embracing openness and layering innovation, Lumina can claim a distinct differentiation in the SDN market,” said Ray Mota, chief executive officer and principal analyst, ACG Research.  He believes, with a leading SDN Controller, an experienced team of software engineers and a roster of large service providers as customers, Lumina can help network operators expand their use of SDN so they can save time and money.

Broadcom is in the process of acquiring Brocade, with a closing date that’s now delayed until the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Brocade has been busy divesting into other tchnology businesses through acquisitions and partnerships.