Response: Using An OpenFlow Switch As A Programmable Patch Panel

In this blog post, Dan Hershey (from Big Switch) gets some toys from the lab and shows how to build an SDN Controller application that uses OpenFlow. This application uses a Pronto switch as an “active patch panel” to connect two Cisco switches together.

Things to think about:

  1. You can use OpenFlow to do things that traditional switches cannot do. Who doesn’t want an active patching system in their remote lab setup ? (I’ll bet there are some training companies who could use this feature immediately).
  2. Dan has included the problems with bugs in the firmware. He hasn’t hidden away from the realities.
  3. Not only does he configure the Floodlight controller using the CLI, he has developed an iPhone app to remotely configure his patch panel. That’s badass.

This is a great demonstration of what can be achieved using OpenFlow with simple tools that are available to today. Go and read this and be inspired by what new technology could do for your network.

Using An OpenFlow Switch As A Programmable Patch Panel | Virtual Now – Dan Herseys Blog.

About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

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