Response: Distributed? Centralized? Both? – Cisco Blog on OnePK and SDN

In this blog post, Frank Brockners ( part of the Get Your Build On team) gives a detailed and interesting look into Cisco’s SDN strategy and, specifically, how Cisco see OnePK as fitting into the market. At the moment, the future of SDN in the market is unclear. There are obviously point solutions in the data centre as Nicira showed recently but in terms of the overall network market outside of that market SDN is very unclear. I review this article and attempt to summarise Cisco’s SDN position.

Response: Cisco Blog – What Comes Next with Cisco and the ONF?

Omar Sultan writes on the Cisco Data & Cloud blog ….. We continue to strongly support ONF and its efforts related to SDN and our support has and will continue to been demonstrated in tangible ways.  One of the elements of the Cisco ONE announcement is onePK, which is an enabling technology and one of the […]


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: You can use OpenFlow to do things that […]


Rant: Our Vendor Partners Dont Have an SDN Vision

There is an old saying “A man with his eyes fixed on Heaven doesn’t see where he is going”. It’s an almost perfect description of how the major vendors are bringing Software Defined Networking to the market.

The consistent message from all the vendors and especially the Cisco, Juniper and Brocade is that there are “no use cases for SDN”. In the last three months, this has been a constantly repeated statement both publicly and privately. This beggars belief that vendors can’t see immediate needs that deliver long term gains.

I suspect that the root of this problem is the big companies want to solve big problems. And by solving big problems they figure that they can make big revenue. Alright, I get that. It’s understandable that large organisations need a constant revenue stream to feed the insatiable maws of their shareholders. However, the vendors re also missing the most real and immediate problem of networking today. Simply, Networking is too hard.

Vendors haven’t developed tools that keep the complexity of networking under control. Complexity can be reduced to this: “I don’t have big problems, I have lots of small problems.” You can have debates about addressing complexity and how to attack it, but it nearly always boils down to this: start small.

Repsonse: Big Switch Networks – The Value of Openness

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 […]


Does SDN represent the evolution of Network Management ? Yes but No It Doesn’t

SDN/OpenFlow is about Network Management, at least, in part. But the rich tools for software control dont’ exist. I also think don’t think that todays management _platforms_ (such as Tivoli, OpenView and BMC) are suitable for network orchestration in the future.

Response: Intel- New Switch and More Software Defined Networking

Intel talks about the their Fulcrum silicon (FM6000) fully supporting OpenFlow. If one of the bigger merchant silicon vendors is shipping OpenFlow ready silicon, then I would expect new products to arrive in the next few months. I believe Intel is demoing this at Interop. We’ve also contributed our Barcelona 10GbE TOR switch reference platform […]

Response: Time for HP to Show Its SDN Hand

Brad Casemore makes that case that HP is not telling us enough about it’s OpenFlow technology. HP has been a major contributor to several initiatives, including QoS code for OpenFlow v1.1 and the first vendor to offer OpenFlow support on it’s network switches. Yet, HP is not necessarily getting the recognition it deserves for these […]

Response: Omar Sultan – Final Thoughts on the Open Networking Summit

Responding to Omar’s wrap on the ONS


ONF Extends their SDN to Embrace NETCONF and YANG

In this blog post, Calle Moberg (from Tail-F Systems who makes NETCONF software) highlights that the ONF has embraced NETCONF as mandatory for configuration of OpenFlow enabled devices. I didn’t know this was coming: [...] OF-CONFIG1.0 requires that devices supporting OF-CONFIG 1.0 MUST implement NETCONF protocol as the transport. This in turn implies as specified […]

Internet of Interest 20120212 curve

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 […]


OpenFlow doesn’t undermine Vendors even though it changes everything

Many people have attempted to prove that OpenFlow creates disintermediation of the hardware market dominated by Cisco, Juniper etc. In fact, it’s allow these vendors to bring the very best of their core values to Software Defined Networking.


OpenFlow might lower CapEx while SDN will increase OpEx

A lot of people have talked extensively about OpenFlow making significant changes to the networking business. In particular, many writers have focussed on the possibility that OpenFlow enables a choice of using low cost network equipment instead of the expensive networking equipment that we use today.

Well, that’s highly unlikely.

ipspace openflow webinar 20111118

Introduction to OpenFlow & SDN – Presentation and Screen Recording Posted

Thanks to Ivan at, we have posted the video and presentations from the SDN & OpenFlow on Tuesday including a demonstration of the OpenFlow/SDN with the BigSwitch virtualization controller.

Will SDN/OpenFlow be used in the Enterprise ?

Following the OpenFlow/SDN webinar last week, Brad sent me this question:

What does your crystal ball tell you regarding industry acceptance? I can see the Google’s of the world needing this—but what about the average enterprise?

Here is my best effort at answering:

Is OpenFlow Open ? I Ask – Compared to What ?

In this post, I’m considering whether the Open Networking Foundation is the correct process for managing and developing the "open standards" for OpenFlow. The Open Networking Foundation is owned and funded by a cabal of large corporations whose requirements for improving their hyper-scale data centres is the primary motivation. But what about the wider marketplace including the Campus and the Enterprise. I also look at what open means at the controller layer.

Comparing Embrane and Nicira is Pointless – They Are Different

Had a few conversations, and some articles, where comparisons are being made between Embrane and Nicira and wanted to point out that there are few similarities between these companies.


Defining Flow Forwarding instead of Switch or Routing

Wherein I make the case OpenFlow like technologies are neither switching or routing. It’s Flow Forwarding, or just Forwarding.

OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking: Is it Routing or Switching ?

I got asked a question by a reader “is OpenFlow used for Routing or Switching ?”

ipspace openflow webinar 20111118

Webinar on SDN & OpenFlow – Sponsored by Big Switch – Open Attendance

I’m pleased to announce that Big Switch have agreed to sponsor SDN & OpenFlow Webinar on February 7th, 2012 and that the event will be free and open to anyone to attend.

Are you a Network Architect or Designer ? Are you responsible for strategy, long term vision, or simply keeping track of upcoming technologies ? If so, you will need to know more about OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking and how it impacts the future of Networking in software and hardware.

And now, thanks to sponsorship from BigSwitch Networks, anyone can attend.

Ipspace openflow webinar 20111204

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