2012: The year software-defined networking sold out

Companies spent roughly $1.6 billion buying networking startups in 2012 with one deal being responsible for the lion’s share of that total. Yet, even if VMware hadn’t purchased Nicira for $1.26 billion, networking deals and software-defined networking deals in particular, were red hot in 2012.

Another company for the networking startup files: Pica8

After raising $6.6 million in October, Pica8 is launching its combination of OpenFlow-based hardware and the software to control massively scaled-out data centers. The company is hoping that buyers will rip out old gear and replace it with its commodity switches and software.

Plexxi will reinvent networking for a scaled out era

Plexxi has made a new networking box that it calls a switch, but is radically different from the switches on the market today. The switch contains software plus an optical transceiver that link to other Plexxi boxes to form a fast connection between thousands of servers.

Software: The new networking paradigm

VMware’s planned acquisition of Nicra for $1.25 billion represents the evolution of networking beyond the hardware-dominated point of view that has sustained the industry for decades. Here’s what that means for startups in the networking realm as well as for the industry giants.