Introducing Indigo Virtual Switch (IVS)

Back in March, we announced the 2nd generation Indigo project. Indigo is an open source project aimed at enabling vendors to support OpenFlow on physical and hypervisor switches.  To date, Big Switch has helped numerous companies bring OpenFlow-enabled equipment to the marketplace, ushering in the new era of bare-metal switches.

ivs-diagram-1At Big Switch, our product strategy includes both commercial product releases, as well as an open source release to provide software for use in trial, development and academic environments. So today I’m happy to announce forward progress using the Indigo technology to create free and open source solutions for both physical and virtual switches.

What is IVS?

IVS is a Virtual Switch that leverages the Indigo framework. It’s a lightweight, high-performance vSwitch built from the ground up to support the OpenFlow protocol. It is designed to enable large-scale network virtualization applications and supports distribution across multiple physical servers.  IVS is distributed under an EPL license and is available to enterprises and operators deploying real-world SDN solutions.

We created IVS because the available open-source virtual switches did not meet the needs of large-scale deployments and were held hostage by incumbent vendors, preventing community-based innovation. And we didn’t need the overhead of traditional networking stacks. We wanted a thin, lightweight OpenFlow speaker that just worked, and scaled up with low latency and multi-threading.

IVS will be distributed by Big Switch Networks under the name Switch Light for Linux and certified for use with the Big Virtual Switch application.

Free Bare-Metal Switch OS – BETA Program

Today, we are also announcing a BETA program for Switch Light for Broadcom – a physical switch OS firmware.  My colleague Andrew wrote a blog post with more info. In a nutshell:  if you want to apply for the beta program, please fill out this application. Switch Light will be a free download when we reach general availability.

Thanks again for your support and as always please don’t hesitate to email me at with any questions or comments.


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