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Brocade's SDN spinout Lumina Networks to shut down in an orderly fashion

OpenDaylight-based vendor says proprietary networking is still winning and bemoans lack of VC support

Software-defined networking vendor Lumina Networks “has begun an orderly shut-down of business.”

Lumina was created when Brocade spun out its OpenDaylight distribution to private investors even as it was being eaten by Broadcom in 2017.

At the time of the spin-out Lumina CEO Andrew Coward said the company started life with actual customers, real revenue, private backers and the prospect of further funding.

In the company’s shutdown notice an un-named author says “Unfortunately, while many in the telco community applauded our work, and planned deployments, revenue has not followed at the scale required for us to operate and manage a large open source project.”

“Essentially, revenue continued to flow to proprietary vendors. The switch to open source did not take place at a pace anywhere close to the speed that would enable us to operate and grow our business, despite commitments from many to the contrary.”

There was also a little whinge at financiers, as follows: “While startups chasing consumer or enterprise markets are typically funded by the VC community, few to no telco-focused startups receive funding from such sources, making our reliance on revenue even more critical.”

Hang on? Financiers that pride themselves on picking hyper-growth companies didn't throw money at company facing colossal entrenched competitors? Those VCs are rotten, we tell you, rotten.

But we digress. The farewell post also attributes some of Lumina’s woes to the novel Coronavirus.

“We have also found that COVID-19 has actually redirected funds away from automation projects and into building-out raw infrastructure, further delaying adoption,” the post says.

A representative of a company that worked on a project to implement Lumina’s wares offered The Register another analysis of the company’s woes: its software just wasn’t very good. Our source, who requested anonymity, told of a project on which Lumina’s software was found to be unsatisfactory and caused considerable grief.

Lumina’s view that the market was slow to adopt software-defined networking is not shared by analyst firm Gartner, which in its 2020 hype cycle for infrastructure strategies suggested it became a feature of management and automation tools. ®

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