Bumper SDN/OpenFlow Roundup on Links for ONS 2012


Internets of Interest is a conceit of mine where I collect useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internet and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them.

With the Open Network Summit 2012 happening last week, there was an avalanche of hype from the mainstream press. I’ve attempted to pick something off the main track with these links that might contain more interesting stuff.  Hopefully you will find something interesting here.

Google’s next OpenFlow challenge: taking SDNs to the consumer — Cloud Computing News – Stacey at GigaOm talks about Google’s, much discussed, presentation on using OpenFlow/SDN in their WAN. Note that Google’s WAN is the _least_ complicated part of their network, with relatively limited numbers of flows (by defining at low granularity), and least amount of scale (because throughput is not an OpenFlow problem that’s a silicon problem). Worth a read.

Cisco Blog » Blog Archive » Is it Just Software Defined Networks (SDN)? – David Ward lays out at least some part of the Cisco’s strategy for SDN. It’s my understanding that David is a signficant part of Cisco’s SDN strategy. Importantly, he is planning the path between “Cisco Today” and what customers have, and “Cisco Tomorrow” and whatever the market decides and, I think, the point he is making is that it’s still too early to say what the EXACT future will be. You can also see a talk about OpenFlow/SDN at the OpenFlow Symposium I organised last year on VIMEO – David Ward. David was at Juniper then but he was making the same arguement then.

Top 5 Highlights from Open Networking Summit 2012 – Tutorial Day | SDNCentral – Roy Chua from SDN Central has written a summary of his experience of the days at ONS2012. This is the tutorial day and then and April 17 and  April 18,

OpenFlow might lower CapEx while SDN will increase OpEx — My EtherealMind – My own article how much OpenFlow/SDN will cost and it won’t be cheap if you take account of the development and operational costs for your controller and applications.

Open Networking Summit 2012: Take your proprietary networking and… – Rivka Little at SearchNetworking.com has a fantastic interview with Dan Pitt ( Executive Director at Open Networking Foundation). Lots of insight into the convoluted world of OpenFlow politics – it doesn’t look pretty. Because the ONF is run by large cloud concerns (Google, Yahoo, Verizon etc) and vendors can only act via a “Technical Advisory Board” this leads to

Cisco Blog » Blog Archive » Open Networking Summit, Day 1 – Omar Sultan (of Cisco SAVBU marketing team and semi-retired CCIE) provides his summary of ONS2012. Though it pains me to say it, he is thinking a lot like I am and speaking with a voice of caution into the hype cycle.

That said, he praises what has been achieved and follows up with a summary of Day 2.

It seems that much of the conversation around SDN centers on the southbound conversation–the ability to program the hardware. While that is certainly useful and interesting, at least as interesting and important is the northbound conversation–the ability to extract interesting information from the infrastructure and make it available to the controllers, applications, tools, etc. In Igor’s case, he talked about being able to extract info directly out of the switching hardware to facilitate troubleshooting–not an inconsequential task when you have 20K servers and 400K VMs. Its a good use case but I also think its just scratching at the surface.

Intel® Ethernet Switch FM6000 – Software Defined Networking – Intel Whitepaper on Fulcrum FM6000 silicon and their approach to implementing OpenFlow parsing in the chipset. Mostly this is stating the obvious, it’s not really technical or detailed,  but if you are new to OpenFlow and how it would be implemented in silicon this is worth reading to consider the impact of the OpenFlow on your switching hardware. I found some insight into how vendors must make decisions when desigining their hardware.

Next-Gen Network Drumbeats: Going With the OpenFlow | Cloudline | Wired.com – Mike Barton writing for Wired draws a parallel between hippy drum sessions and OpenFlow/SDN. I though this was a sloppy article that basically repeated press releases or other peoples content – not worth reading. Wired should do better.

Verizon shows off OpenFlow’s benefits for carriers — Cloud Computing News – Unsurprising that Verizon can’t think at Enterprise scale. Carrier/SP’s don’t think at the micro scale  - if indeed, they can think at all instead of reacting to events that force them to respond in some way:

Stu Elby, Verizon VP network architecture and technology, characterized the project as part of a virtual innovation center between participants, and said the concept of the center is a way for Verizon to test out some of its ideas. What struck me about the partnership and his language, was that Verizon seems to be creating a structure that is well-known to carriers when it comes to deploying new technology, but is somewhat foreign for the data center and web world, where OpenFlow and software defined networking is also being tested.

Interesting OpenFlow links (2012-04-21) « ipSpace.net by @ioshints – Ivan has put together a set of links including a link to the video of the Google’s presentation that was not made available after ONS2012.