Open source networking solutions provider to cease trading

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San Jose-based open source software defined networks (SDN) solution provider, Lumina Networks is to close its doors.

While it remains fair to say that the telecoms industry is amongst the best-placed to emerge relatively healthily from the Covid-19 crisis, it is not completely impervious to the impact the pandemic is having on the world’s economy. 

Lumina Networks was established in 2017, with a mission to bring open source SDN into large scale telco deployments. This mission, declared the company in its closing statement, has been accomplished in more than half a dozen global-scale networks. In the process, the statement went on to explain, network vendors learned that selling their products into carriers would mean working with open source and adapted accordingly. 

The strategy was sound, and the company was supported by some big names, such as ATT and Verizon. It was also recognised with a number of awards, the most recent - as one of CRN’s Hottest Networking Startups for 2020 - only a month ago. However, revenue didn’t arrive at the anticipated scale, and the coronavirus threw a large spanner into the works.

‘Unfortunately,’ read the company’s statement, ‘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. We have also found that Covid-19 has actually redirected funds away from automation projects and into building-out raw infrastructure, further delaying adoption.’

Lumina had initially looked to sell the business to a proprietary vendor that would share the company’s mission, but this ‘proved an impossible task.’

The statement concluded by thanking the team at Lumina Networks, which is described as ‘world-class.’ It said: ‘I know that many of them will want to continue their work in the open source community, in SDN and in virtualization. Fortunately, much of their work at Lumina will live on in open source through the OpenDaylight and the associated projects we have helped shape. Ironically, one of the benefits of open source we promoted – that it would survive us – has turned out prophetic.’


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