SDN is just plumbing, what is openness...

Metaratings
09 Apr 2014
00:00
Article

Top 10 things heard at NetEvents US cloud confab:

1. Martin Casado, VMware’s CTO for networking: “If I look at SDN, what is it? It's just plumbing. It solves the lowest layer of problem. It solves the provisioning problem, it solves the software problem, but I don't think it's as applicable to some of these broader things like security yet.”

2. Jerry Caron, Current Analysis: “Openness is in the eye of the beholder, and the only beholders that matter are the customers. Openness can’t be dictated for commercial reasons, whether they’re competitive or altruistic. It’s a matter of taste. People put up a lot with the closed Apple environment because they like it and because it has tons of apps. So, the programming interfaces are open to whoever wants to play and probably that’s what matters most in this argument.”

3. ONF executive director Dan Pitt: “No one would dare be against openness, but it means different things. You’ll find plenty of companies saying, ‘we have this great open solution. Here is this interface and we define it and we control it and you can write to it, but if we decide to change it, you’re out of luck’. So, that’s why we’re advocating for community-developed interfaces.”

4. Guido Appenzeller, co-founder of Big Switch Networks, on motivation for work on OpenFlow (which led to the SDN movement): “Networking equipment is built in a closed way and you can’t innovate. We’ve seen a very slow pace of innovation. You can’t implement better networking algorithms or equipment because the way we built networking equipment was essentially in a vertically integrated model. The net effect of this very closed infrastructure has been that the operational cost of running network equipment is very high.”

5. Juniper’s Said Ouissal on OSS agility: “For a service provider to introduce new technology in their network it can take quite a bit of time not only because they want to get it first time right, but because it has to be part of a more complex billing environment. The cloud guys have one admin for 15,000 servers and from a telco view, they have one engineer per 100 type of systems. So a completely different way of how you think and how you manage your network.”

6. MEF CEO Kevin Vachon: “There's an opportunity for telcos to have the network advantage. I think if they embrace the opportunities, there's an opportunity to have a very strategic network asset. At the same time, there's a huge risk that they won't even be able to play as a cloud carrier if they don't take the steps to cloudify their network.”

7. Paul To, Spirent Communications: “Security guys always talk about the layered defense. If I map that to what's going on in this software-defined world, where everything is virtualized and then everything is programmable, we see each of those horizontal layers has programmability. There are huge opportunities where each of those layers can become a coordinated policy enforcement engine.”

8. HyTrust chief architect Steve Pate: “If you hold the [encryption] keys, when the government comes to you, you get your legal team in place. That's as good as you can do.”

9. VMware’s Martin Casado, on data center networking trends: “Things like security, things like fault isolation, things like billing, things like visibility and debugging, instead of being traditionally put in hardware in the network, they were moved into software.

"There's a lot of good reasons for doing this. If it's in software, you can evolve it more quickly. If it's in software, you've got more context, because you're closer to the application.”

10. Juniper’s Said Ouissal: “Networking has never been so challenged as it is today, but it has never been this much fun. We’re learning every day new stuff because you’re now suddenly exposed to complete new ways of how to solve certain problems.”

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