Five years after the SDN hype exploded, it remains as meaningless as Cloud, and it seems that all we’re left with is a plethora of vendors engaged in SDN-washing their products.
Even when a group of highly intelligent engineers considering these topics on a daily basis gets together they don’t get very far apart from a great question: “what business problem is it supposed to solve?” (or maybe they got distracted by irrelevant hot-air opinions).
Is it still worth trying to find a useful definition of SDN? It seems it’s easier to list what SDN is not like I’ll be doing in the free Introduction to SDN webinar on February 10th. Let’s see:
- Centralized control plane doesn’t make much sense (apart from a few niche scenarios) and smart people use OpenFlow to augment existing network. Stubborn misleading marketing from ONF doesn’t help either.
- Packet forwarding done is software? Doing dozens of gigabits on x86 server is cool, but we’ve been software-based packet forwarding forever (remember the original AGS routers?)
- Whitebox switching? Nice concept that might totally disrupt the networking industry, but it’s just a packaging and licensing challenge.
- Network automation? Definitely useful, but one would hope for something more.
- Applications talking to the network? There might be some niche use cases (edge marking, high-volume file transfers), but we’ve also seen how well IntServ and ATM-to-the-desktop worked.
So what’s left? Join me on February 10th and let’s find out. All you have to do is to fill in the registration form on this page and answer a few questions on a follow-up page.