Software-defined networking company Big Switch announced Friday that it has added Intel to its group of illustrious investors. Intel poured $6.5 million into the startup’s B round for an undisclosed stake, bringing the round to $31.5 million. To date, the company has raised $46 million altogether from such heavy hitters as Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures.
You might be wondering what software-defined networking (SDN) is, since it’s relatively new. But it turns out, it’s a rising trend. Last year, VMware shelled out $1.26 billion for SDN startup Nicira.
SDN could prove to be a threat to Cisco, Juniper Networks, and other big name networks. Software-defined networking essentially seeks to take individual routers, switches, and boxes out of networking to make networks more agile and easier to configure via a general server.
Right now, if you buy Cisco’s software, you’re stuck with Cisco’s hardware, which can be costly. Consequently, Cisco accounts for a 65% market share. VMware accounts for 80% of the virtualization market.
“Customers are embracing SDN as a way to bring programmability, agility, and better economics to a worn out and tired network,” said Big Switch VP of Corporate Relations Mari Mineta Clapp. “Open SDN offers these customers choice, open APIs and platform independence to avoid high-priced vendor lockin. Big Switch is working with highly sophisticated early adopters who are saying NO to yesterday's network, calling their own shots, and bringing innovation, agility and a better ROI to their enterprise data center.”
Big Switch shipped the first platform independent open SDN product suite in 2012, which included network virtualization and network monitoring applications.
“Data center operators need programmable and cost effective merchant silicon-based networking architectures to meet their data center economic and operational objectives,” said Bryan Wolf, Managing Director of Intel Capital, in a statement. “At Intel Capital, we’re looking for companies creating the most disruptive data center solutions, and Big Switch Networks Open Software-Defined Networking product suite is a leading solution in data center network virtualization.”
The company plans to use the new capital from this round to invest in research and development, and ramp up commercial expansion, particularly in sales and marketing.