Netvisor Takes SDN Switching Mainstream with $50M Series D

January 21, 2015 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

We closed our Series D in financing right before Christmas. This is a $50M round lead by Temasek and Ericsson. Temasek is a $170B plus sovereign fund out of Singapore that is best described as Berkshire Hathaway of Technology. They were the people responsible forinvestments into Alibaba. This is important to understand that with Netvisor achieving success in Enterprise Datacenter and Private Cloud markets, the bigger players now believe that SDN switching and applications on Server-Switches is pretty real.

The finding is primarily to scale our business side and help sell more products, build support infrastructure and create a application group that can write more applications on Netvisor to exploit the world of programmable networks.

Netvisor as an Application Platform

The best way to explain this is to draw a parallel between Netvisor as a switch Hypervisor and Smartphone.

seriesD_pic1

When Apple released a IOS based smartphone, the world was full of small hardware devices like camera, GPS navigators etc. IOS (and later Android) become a software platform that allowed many applications to come of top of this platform.

seriesD_pic2

Netvisor is creating the same paradigm for datacenter switching. Today, you have a physical fabric, a separate Observability fabric (using TAPS and probes which are more expensive then physical network), Hardware appliances for services and a separate overlay networks with their controller appliances. Since Netvisor is a Distributed Bare metal Switch OS, it allows all these functionality to come in as Software application on top of Netvisor.

Applications are always “On Fabric”

Continuing to draw the parallel with the world of smartphone, we can see that a whole new generation of applications got enabled because of the Apple IOS platform. The application write could write application assuming connectivity all the time without understanding the 3G/4G/LTE/bluetooth/Wifi protocol. More importantly, his application doesn’t have to deliver the necessary protocol stack to provide the connectivity. Netvisor Cluster-Fabric provides the same functionality to the application developers. The physical Fabric can be Layer 2, Layer 3 or Tunnel based (and contain any Networking Hardware in between). The applications are always “On Fabric” and don’t have to understand the physical topology opf the Network or how the Network is connected.

seriesD_pic3

The Fabric is constructed using Layer2/3/vxlan via Netvisor cli/UI and applications use Netvisor C/Java/Rest APIs and Fabric abastractions to program the network, get the analytics, or provide the services.

Open Fabric Virtualization – Unify the Overlay and Underlay

We always believed in a data and control plane separation but we always kept the real world in mind. That is why Netvisor was always a bare metal distributed control plane and we documented several years back that centralized control planes will not scale (see https://sunaytripathi.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/how-does-openflow-sdn-help-virtualizationcloud-part-3-of-3-why-nicira-had-to-do-a-deal/). seriesD_pic4

While our approach of doing bare metal control plane (separate from data plane) is getting validated we see bulk of the industry again going on a tangent with a separate overlap and underlay networks. That

is a absolute wrong direction to take and complicates the server as well as network with no visibility into what is going on. We are currently starting Beta test of Netvisor Open Fabric Virtualization where we allow the tunnels to move to switches and the encapsulation rules are created to switch hardware on demand. When a VM wants to talk to another VM, Netvisor gets the ARP packet (or a L2 miss) and automatically creates encapsulation rule using its vflow API. This allows the servers to go back to being Linux/KVM based servers without worrying about tunnels and network topology and Netvisor based switches to deal with tunnel tables the same way it deals with switching tables and routing tables.

Summary

The year 2015 is going to be a interesting year where SDN is reaching a tipping point and we will see large scale deployments and Networking will finally arrive in 21st century.

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Entry filed under: Netvisor. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Netvisor powers the Rackscale Architecture from Intel/Supermicro Netvisor Analytics: Secure the Network/Infrastructure

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