Whitebox is only for huge companies
Whitebox works for Google, FaceBook and could work for Amazon and Microsoft, but what those companies have in common is they can afford their own development teams to support their white box designs.
Whitebox isn't for small data centers with only a few thousand hosts. Software defined networking simply can't work without a stable underlying network. Software defined networking can really improve performance and scalability, it can't compensate for a poorly designed and poorly manufactured underlying network.
I was training a tier-1 ISP a few weeks ago on how to successfully deploy SDN as a backbone tech. I was training an owner of multiple 30MW data centers on SDN in the DC a month back. What is absolutely clear is that white box is for Fortune 100 tech firms only. It's not for little guys. White box = build your own brand of switch. I say this because I feel entirely confident that I can design the forwarding logic and algorithms in VHDL for a modern SDN enabled switch and my friends can develop and maintain the transceivers and analog. I have real world experience in developing multi-gigabit transmission equipment over Ethernet. I would need a staff of at least 2 HDL developers, 1 analog, 1 signals and 3 system level coders to maintain whitebox switches in a network. Cost of employees, management, tools and software would be a minimum of $3 million per year. Add another million if you want the team to have the skills and resources to actually improve the tech.
Hmm... Now that I think if it... I know who to hire and I'm sur they'd come. Maybe I need to find some investors