Intel and F5 invest into SDN

Software defined networking has secured new interest this week with Intel investing into Big Switch Networks and F5 acquiring LineRate Systems

Software defined networking (SDN) has continued to attract investment from large technology players this week as it was announced both Intel and F5 were entering the market.

Intel has invested an undisclosed sum into Big Switch Networks in its latest round of venture capitalist funding, bringing the amount raised by the company to over $45m.

Other investors include Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, but Intel is the first big tech name on the list for Big Switch and shows a different direction for the chipmaker.    

“Datacentre operators need programmable and cost effective merchant silicon-based networking architectures to meet their datacentre economic and operational objectives,” said Bryan Wolf, managing director of Intel Capital.

“At Intel Capital, we’re looking for companies creating the most disruptive datacentre solutions, and Big Switch Networks open software defined networking product suite is a leading solution in datacentre network virtualisation.”

Today also saw F5 confirm its acquisition of LineRate Systems, a company specialising in the development of SDN services, for an undisclosed sum.      

Although the company boasts IP around layer seven network services, it has yet to bring a product to market and F5 is placing a bet on its early stage developments.

“F5’s vision is to enable application-layer SDN services for software defined datacentres, providing our customers with unprecedented automation, orchestration, and control,” said Karl Triebes, executive vice president of product development and CTO at F5.

“Extreme scale of applications, infrastructure, and services will be vital to SDN, core to F5, and the key to customers realising the benefits of software defined datacentres. LineRate’s programmable network capabilities and innovations in layer seven will bolster our efforts to extend F5’s market leadership in these areas, and we are very pleased to welcome the LineRate team to F5.”

The two announcements came as Computer Weekly published research showing little enthusiasm in the market for adopting SDN technologies.

Despite the large investments being made in both research, development and acquisitions, less than 10% of the respondents to our European IT priorities survey said they planned on investing into SDN in the next year.

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