With the vast marketing budgets from big vendors and their well paid “evangelists”, the startups vying to introduce new methods and the Internet clamour of engineers trying to understand the new technology it might be time to pause and remember that Software Defined Networking was a customer-driven initiative.
From the press release on Open Networking Foundation website March 21, 2011:
Six companies that own and operate some of the largest networks in the world — Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo! — announced today the formation of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a new approach to networking called Software-Defined Networking (SDN).
The ONF was formed by customers to get the networking technology that was needed by cloud and service providers. In my opinion, the ONF directly led to emergence whitebox Ethernet, kicked off the SDN startups in Silicon Valley and started the SDN/NFV discussion.
Products are emerging that we can really use. SDN isn’t starting today, it’s already more than three years old. Nuage Networks and VMware NSX are getting serious sale volumes in the market. SDN WAN startups like Viptela and Glue Networkins are getting traction with customers.
The EtherealMind View
The role of the ONF is very different today with a focus on chipmakers and hardware requirements. The market has changed drastically over the time but this is where it started. EMC/VMware purchased Nicira a couple of years later for a billion dollars and put the relationship with Cisco in jeopardy (something that seems get worse as time goes by) and was the final confirmation that SDN was going to be huge.I sometimes wonder what SDN would be like if Cisco had bought Nicira in July 2012. What would we have today ?
But it took customers to form a consortium and force big network vendors to sit up and listen to their needs.