In an attempt to woo potential enterprise clients, Brocade today released a free trial version of Vyatta, which network administrators can use to manage up to five nodes for a year. Hoping to build up an ecosystem of third-party applications around Vyatta, the company is additionally announcing a software development kit for the largely open source controller.
Since launching Vyatta in September, Brocade has yet to publicly announce customers for the controller, though we’re told that there are field trials in the works with announcements expected in coming months. Pricing for the production license is set at $100 per year for each physical or virtual node that the controller manages.
Given Brocade’s low market share in the switching market, it has little to lose and much to gain in the shift to software defined networking, and has designed Vyatta to run on any competitor’s switching hardware.
“Supporting our controller on everybody’s hardware is fundamental to the vision of what SDN was supposed to be,” says Brocade CTO David Meyer. “If we say it only runs on our hardware, what have our customers gained in terms of vendor lock-in?”
Of course, lock-in of one kind or another is every vendor’s secret dream, and Brocade’s strategy in that regard appears to hinge on the triumph of OpenDaylight as an industry standard for network controllers.
An early supporter of OpenDaylight, Brocade is betting that the project’s open source network controller platform will become an industry standard, and hopes to position itself as the premier supported distribution for enterprise clients.
“Open source has become the way that you develop undifferentiated plumbing,” says Meyer, who also chairs the OpenDaylight board of directors.
By way of example, Meyer points to the business Red Hat has built around selling support and services for the Linux kernel. “That’s an excellent model for the controller” he says.
“We see ourselves as the Red Hat of the OpenDaylight controller — that’s the business strategy.”
Correction: Brocade’s Vyatta controller is priced at $100 per attached node annually. An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the licensing fee as monthly. We regret the error!