5 Hot Software-Defined Networking Companies You Need To Watch In 2020

The SDN space is no stranger to consolidation, but here are five channel-friendly SDN companies that are standing along against the incumbent networking players that solution providers should have on their radars in 2020.

Going Places

The origin of software-defined networking (SDN), which is thought to have gotten its start around 2008, isn’t that long ago all things considered. But more than a decade in the IT space might as well be a century.

SDN has matured to a point in which many companies and service providers are employing the next-generation networking approach to simplify and more dynamically configure and program their networking operations. While some of the largest IT vendors have embraced SDN as a big part of their own networking strategies, such as Cisco, Dell, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), a plethora of SDN startups also entered the fray over the last decade.

Some of these startups were scooped up by the incumbent IT vendors, but others have stood alone over the past decade and have carved out their own space in the market with differentiated solutions and agile approaches to networking. Here are five such channel-friendly SDN companies that solution providers should keep an eye on in 2020.

Anuta Networks

Anuta Networks got its start in 2010 and has worked its way up the ranks and carved out a space for itself as a leader in SDN orchestration alongside the likes of Juniper Networks, HPE, and Huawei. The company today develops and offers multi-vendor network service orchestration solutions for both enterprise customers and large-scale service providers through its Anuta Networks orchestration and assurance platform (ATOM) that helps customers automate and accelerate their network services.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based provider also has an international presence in India and Japan and has its own robust channel of geographically- scattered solution provider partners across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks is helping enterprises build more efficient data centers using open networking software that runs on Linux. The company kicked off the New Year by announcing a partnership with HPE to tackle increased network and storage demands that new uses cases, such as AI, 5G, and IoT, are putting on the network. Specifically, Cumulus' Linux NetQ software will now be able to run on HPE's network storage products.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Cumulus Networks is a channel-friendly firm and got its start in 2010 and exited stealth mode in 2013.

Lumina Networks

Open source Networking newcomer Lumina Networks got its start in 2017 when Brocade was purchased and split up. Brocade's emerging SDN technology was acquired by Lumina Networks.

San Jose, Calif.-based Lumina today offers its OpenDaylight-based Lumina SDN Controller, formerly the Brocade SDN Controller. The Lumina SDN Controller can be used to deliver 5G services. The company also just launched its first-ever partner program toward the end of 2019.


Palo Alto, Calif.-based Pica8, Inc. provides open-standards-based operating systems on white box network switches. The channel-friendly company was launched in 2009 and immediately took aim at IT market heavyweight Cisco.

Pica8 in November 2019 introduced Threshold, an open networking solution for modernizing education, government and Fortune 1000 enterprise networks. The company said that Threshold can replace Cisco campus networks, including chassis switches, automation tools, and small, branch office switches. Threshold offers a centrally-managed, intelligent network that uses white box switches that run on Pica8’s PICOS open networking software suite.

Pluribus Networks

Focusing on network analytics, data center interconnection and SDN solutions, Pluribus Networks offers open networking-based solutions which use a programmable SDN fabric for data centers and distributed cloud edge architecture. The company continues to be ranked as a leader in SDN and data center modernization by IT research firms.

The company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is a 100 percent channel-focused company with several channel veterans leading its partner efforts. Pluribus Networks was founded in 2010.