Process is Critical for a Multi-Vendor SDN

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto
  • SDN will create varying degrees of product dependencies for enterprises.
  • Enterprises need to plan for and create processes that support multi-vendor SDN.

It’s no secret that I think SDN Will Lock Enterprises in Tighter Than Ever because of the dependencies that are built up with software integration and I don’t think many enterprises have quite grasped the amount of stickiness software integration has.

Naturally, there is a continuum of SDN implementations, ranging from very basic integration with just enough touch to automate networking provisioning for VMs to fully automated, application-level provisioning that includes service chaining and follow-me functions for traffic monitoring and packet capture, and seamless integration of physical networking without the intervention of a human operator. Depending on where an enterprise is on that continuum the amount of stickiness will vary from “not much” to “a great deal”. Continue reading “Process is Critical for a Multi-Vendor SDN”

Without Standards Conformance, OpenFlow Fails to Deliver Interoperability

  • Mike Fratto
    Mike Fratto

    Standards without conformance are useless. Conformance testing resolves varying interpretations which enables interoperability.

  • OpenFlow is starting to fragment along product and vendor partner lines, which isn’t good for either vendors or customers.

When it comes to standards, most if not all IT professionals agree that standards are important. The obvious reason is that standards allow enterprises to integrate the software and hardware they want to use rather than being confined to a subset of products from one vendor or a vendor’s partner program. That’s the high road. The reality is that IT just wants equipment that works whether or not they are standards based, and that’s because having a technical standard isn’t going to enable interoperation and integration. Continue reading “Without Standards Conformance, OpenFlow Fails to Deliver Interoperability”

What’s an SDN? Who Cares? The Question is, Does It Help?

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • There isn’t any consensus on the definition of SDN, but in the many variations are value propositions that may be useful to you.
  • In the drive to define SDN, established and start-up networking vendors are developing products that can improve your network operations, and that is what is important.

Chalk it up to my extensive studies in philosophy, but I like definitions that are clear, concise, and differentiate one thing from another. At times I can be pedantic and get dragged down in details, but I’m also practical and I know that while theory can be fun and games, at some point, stuff has to get done. What was more important to me when I ran a small data center was getting things done. I didn’t really care about what I called whatever technology I was using. What I cared about, and what the IT professionals that I talk to care about, is how will this new technology make my job better, more efficient, less prone to error, or more cost effective. What matters is not the foundational ideas underpinning a new technology, but the practical applications. Continue reading “What’s an SDN? Who Cares? The Question is, Does It Help?”