Omar Baldonado talks about the value of openness for SDN & OpenFlow
My takeaway from that panel and the other speakers is that we’ve arrived here at this point in the industry because of the openness of software-defined networking. Many of the components of SDN already existed as the audience pointed out, but it is the openness of the movement that has allowed the broad base of companies to be engaged, so much so that pretty much every major company making L2/L3 devices now has discussed Software-Defined Networking/OpenFlow and their plans for it (if they’re not already in GA).
The concept of “open” is not the same as Linux & GPL but continuing the trend in networking of common standards for interoperability between vendors and equipment. Thus Ethernet, OpenFlow, LLDP, SNMP and NETCONF are all open standards. The products and applications that use these protocols will not be open. We need some patents and “proprietariness” so that business investment and long term commitment to product can develop.
That’s part of the success of the ONS, the vendors can’t get “greedy” and control the early stages of the protocol. For example, Cisco seems hell bent on “inventing” FabricPath™ instead of implementing TRILL and getting the basics right.
And this is one way that networking is very different from virtualization, we have real open standards with interoperable products.