Given that both Qualcomm and Swisscom Ventures invested in the series B of PlumGrid startup (see here for more portfolio companies of Swisscom), it does not come as a surprise that the Swiss carrier has now decided to seriously hit the accellerator and move full throttle into the cloud, using PlumGrids SDN. Do we see a serious first mover here? It seems so, as Swisscom is known to meticulously plan and execute – like a Rolex.
SDN is the physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, and where a control plane controls several devices, according to the definition of the ONF (Open Network Foundation). This architecture decouples the network control and forwarding functions enabling the network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted for applications and network services. What sounds like a dry cookie, is in fact a bit of a revolution. The agility that can be gained allows to reduce time to provision to seconds, when previously it was taking weeks. Over the times, when provisioning processes would be the bottleneck to customer satisfaction.
So what are the driving forces for SDN?
Now, all the big names are to be found in the SDN workspace: IBM, Cisco, Juniper, NEC (see a comparison of the architectures here: SDN Architectures). That Swisscom has chosen PlumGrid over all of the big names shows a confidence in a startup to run core tasks of a CSP that is stunning and astonishing. It will be interesting to monitor the success.