Northbound Networks Launches the Smallest OpenFlow SDN Switch on Kickstarter

By Michael Guta July 30, 2015

Software-defined networking (SDN) is essential in the data driven world we live in today. With social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing pushing existing networks infrastructures to their limits, a smarter approach is needed to manage the massive amount of traffic. By removing manual network operation, administrators can manage their traffic with more efficiency using a programmable network that can adapt to the changing needs of a business. However, this type of control was not available to everyone, and the high cost of the technology meant only organizations could afford it. That is until Northbound Networks launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Zodiac FX, the world’s smallest OpenFlow SDN switch.

According to Paul Zanna, Founder of Northbound Networks.  “The Zodiac FX provides many of the features of an OpenFlow switch costing thousands of dollars, but it’s small enough to fit in the palm of a person’s hand.  We expect it to be a game changer and we’re grateful to our supporters on Kickstarter for helping us bring the project to life.”

As of today, the campaign has raised $33,000 plus of its $40,000 goal (Australian Dollars).

This is the first OpenFlow switch designed to sit on your desk, not in a datacenter. You can now control every single bit of data on your network whether you are at home or elsewhere. You will be able to assign priority to different apps and services, monitor network usage and have more control on the security of your network.

Even though the Zodiac FX fits on the palm of your hands, at only 10 cm x 8 cm or 3.9 in x 3.1 in it packs a wallop.

Image via Shutterstock

Some of the specs include:

  • 4 x 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports with integrated magnetics
  • Command line interface accessible via USB virtual serial port
  • Amtel Cortex M4 processor
  • Support for OpenFlow 1.0, 1.3 & 1.4;  512 entry software flow table
  • 802.1q VLAN support for 64 groups
  • 2KB jumbo frame support
  • QoS / CoS prioritization with 802.1q tag insertion
  • Auto MDIX with X-over detection
  • USB powered

By making SDN affordable, Northbound Networks will give developers and tinkerers alike the ability to experiment with the technology, and possibly come up with solutions big companies are missing. The IT world is full of examples in which new innovations were created by individuals hacking away on their computers, and this type of accessibility will only empower this same group of people to come up with new answers to existing problems. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

NFVZone Contributing Writer

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