SDN Startup Lumina Networks Becomes A COVID-19 Casualty

The SDN newcomer said it would have been ‘antithetical’ to sell the company to a proprietary networking vendor and as a result, is shuttering the business.


Software-defined networking specialist Lumina Networks is closing its doors, the three-year old startup announced on Tuesday.

Lumina Networks, which provided an open source-based SDN controller and received funding from heavyweights Verizon and AT&T, said it will begin to shut down the business because required revenue to operate and manage a large open source project hasn‘t scaled. The company also pointed to COVID-19 as an obstacle that has pushed customers to build out their infrastructure, rather than investing in automation.

“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. We have also found that COVID-19 has actually redirected funds away from automation projects,” the San Jose, Calif.-based company said in a statement on their website.

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Lumina got its start in 2017 when Brocade was purchased and split up. Brocade's emerging SDN technology was acquired by Lumina Networks. The company‘s OpenDaylight-based Lumina SDN Controller, formerly the Brocade SDN Controller, could be used to deliver 5G services.

The networking newcomer set out to introduce open source SDN into large scale telco deployments. Lumina‘s SDN technology has been used in “a dozen” global-scale networks, the company said, adding that their approach challenged network vendors selling their products to carriers to adapt their own products to work with Open Source technology.

However, selling the company to a proprietary vendor would have been “antithetical” to Lumina‘s mission. ”For this reason we must now close our business,” Lumina said.

Lumina in October 2019 launched its Lumina Partner Program. Made up of five tiers, the program gave solution providers access to new revenue opportunities through creating innovative network solutions, the company said at the time.

Lumina could not be reached for comment on next steps for partners prior to publication.

The company, which received Series A funding from Verizon, AT&T and Rahi Systems in 2018, said that its work will live on in open source through the OpenDaylight project and several other associated projects.