Software Defined Networking startup Pica8 has been busy lately. Last week, the company announced $12.5M in new financing. Today, it announced that it is offering a free trial version of its network operating system (OS).
With the SDN land grab on, Pica8 is stealing a strategy from Web 2.0. The strategy takes a page from the “Freemium” model of many Web applications, whereby a stripped-down free version of software is available to gain more exposure. It’s a good marketing strategy to enable more people to try out SDN tools and start experimenting with their hardware from a roster of suppliers.
The company’s PicOS, a networking OS based on Linux, can be plugged into commodity hardware to build “bare metal“switches and routers using SDN tools such as OpenFlow and Pica8’s own Open vSwitch (OVS) implementation. Pica8 says the OS is easy to install using a boot loader and automated provisioning tool called Zero-Touch Provisioning. Customers that download the trial version and want the full licensed version can later turn on a full license at any time.