The OpenFlow/SDN Hype

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Academic researchers were working on OpenFlow concepts (distributed data plane with centralized controller) for years, but in early 2011 a fundamental marketing shift happened: major cloud providers (Google) and Internet Service Providers (Deutsche Telekom) created Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to push forward commercial adoption of OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN) – or at least their definition of it.

Since then, every networking vendor started offering SDN products. Almost none of them come even close to the (narrow) vision promoted by the Open Networking Foundation (centralized control plane with distributed data plane), the only commercialized exceptions were NEC’s ProgrammableFlow and Big Switch Network’s Big Cloud Fabric.

Most vendors decided it’s easier to SDN-wash their existing products, branding their existing APIs Open, and claiming they have SDN-enabled products.

Initial SDN Hype

Looking Back

It's Hard to Fight Large Marketing Budgets