Omar Sultan (Cisco, SAVBU and seemingly, a SDN person) posted a wrap up after he attended the Open Networking Summit for 2012. Here is the article Cisco Blog » Blog Archive » Final Thoughts on the Open Networking Summit
Long-term, I think SDN or the concepts it represents will certainly have a hand in shaping how we do networking a decade for now–how we get there and what that destination really looks like is a bit less certain.
True. In the same way that MPLS took a decade to get serious adoption, it will take a decade for SDN/OpenFlow to be all pervasive. I also remember getting briefings from Cisco as early as 1998 through 2001 before it took off. It was hard to see all of the applications that we use MPLS for today, but it seemed sure that it would go somewhere. For me, SDN/OpenFlow has the same sense of purpose.
Second, the use cases are not always compelling. Most of the folks you saw at ONS this year were either service providers or acted as service providers (i.e. university IT). This is only natural, since, for these two groups, SDN is helping them do things they a) cannot currently do or b) do markedly better. On the enterprise front, I still don’t see the killer app.
I agree here, but only up to a point. I can see several killer applications in the Enterprise for SDN/OpenFlow that haven’t arrived yet. I’m sure someone is working on these ideas but they won’t arrive for some time yet. Cloud networks have specific problems that SDN can solve since cloud companies can easily take the risk of unproven technology (everything they do is unproven) and also able to spend months in testing and development. Few cloud networks have any legacy equipment of crapplications like Oracle or SAP to handle. That’s why the energy is around those solutions.
The EtherealMind View
In summary, I broadly agree with Omar’s view of SDN although I disagree in some major areas. I think there will be point solutions in the enterprise within a year or two and this will lead to early adoption in two to three years. My view is that SDN offers hope for control and operational management of our networks – something that isn’t possible with todays protocols and software.
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