Andrew Coward, the former VP of strategy at Brocade Communications, has become the CEO of Lumina Networks, a new company built with the software-defined networking (SDN) controller assets from Brocade.
Lumina Networks, which launched today, will be headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in the U.K., India, and Australia. Its controller, which is based on OpenDaylight (ODL), will be called the Lumina SDN Controller.
Coward said since the announcement that Broadcom was buying Brocade, he’s been considering where he wanted his own career to go. It occurred to him to spin out the SDN controller business, and Brocade’s board agreed to the plan.
Along with the controller, Lumina acquired an application, now named the Lumina Flow Manager, for traffic engineering of the network with advanced algorithms such as path-computation. Lumina also gets another controller-based application — the Lumina Zero Touch Installer — that provides initialization of devices, such as virtual CPE, with the correct software image and configuration.
With its purchase, Lumina gets all the former Brocade customers that are already using the controller. Coward said, “We’re bringing along about 200 customers with us. We’re by far the largest distribution of OpenDaylight today.”
One of its biggest customers is AT&T. And Coward said other similar size carriers in North America and Asia are using the controller.
Lumina is launching with about 60 employees, the majority of which are coming from Brocade. In addition, about six to 10 employees of Serro Solutions are joining Lumina, including its CEO Nitin Serro. Lumina is taking over Serro’s ODL projects, but there is no monetary transaction between the two companies. Serro and Lumina will cooperate as business partners to jointly work on integration projects.
The SDN controller from Brocade was homegrown. “When OpenDaylight started, Brocade started hiring to create a distribution for it,” Coward said. “Our aim was to take as much out of OpenDaylight as possible. We cut out what customers weren’t using.”
After some time, the team of engineers at Brocade also realized that customers needed some integration capabilities around the software. Brocade created a network development team that helped Tier 1 carriers get their projects out of the lab and into their live networks.
Lumina will continue that strategy, offering its customers Network Development (NetDev) Services to help them integrate the controller into their production networks. NetDev methodologies are designed to enable customer teams to become self-sufficient in managing their new open source platforms.
To ensure 100 percent compatibility with OpenDaylight’s code base, Lumina will contribute enhancements made to its SDN controller back to the open source community.