Mellanox made its API open-source as part of its work on an open network switch for the Facebook-led Open Compute Project, which Najam Ahmad, a technical manager for Facebook's datacenter group, described at the event.
Startup Cumulus Networks contributed to the Facebook effort the equivalent of "a boot loader that will find and boot whatever software we want on a switch -- that's the disaggregation we are looking for," Ahmad said.
The ONF developed and released at the event its own SDN monitoring app, called SimpleTap, as an example of things to come. Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and NEC already have commercial versions of such apps, Pitt noted.
At the event, a market researcher reported "a double-digit sequential decline in carrier router/switch revenue rather than the usual budget flush [in the fourth quarter], with weakness coming mostly from Verizon and AT&T, among the global leaders of SDN activities.
"Carriers of all sizes [are proceeding] cautiously with router and switch spending, in part because they are trialing SDN or just beginning to figure out how to proceed with SDN," said Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research, noting the fourth quarter is usually an indicator for the current year and sometimes a bellwether for the future.
Overall worldwide service provider router and switch revenues, including IP edge and core routers and carrier Ethernet switches, was $14.5 billion, up just 2% from 2012, Howard said. Fourth-quarter carrier router/switch revenue is down 4% from the same period a year ago, he added.
Cisco, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, and Juniper remained in their dominant positions in 2013, together taking 83% of global carrier router and switch revenue, Infonetics reported. Their systems are most at risk for disruption by the SDN trend.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times