& cplSiteName &

Blessed Are the SDN Switchmakers

Mitch Wagner
2/4/2014
50%
50%

Pope Francis is an unlikely teacher about the importance of software-defined networking (SDN).

And yet, Andrew Feldman, corporate vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit, for Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD), uses the following slide to illustrate the transition to SDN.

On the left is the inauguration of Pope Benedict in 2005. On the right, the inauguration of Pope Francis in 2013.

"What you see in the photo in 2005 is everybody's watching," Feldman said in a phone conversation. "In 2013, everyone is holding up an iPad and iPhone recording the event. The way we experience the world has changed, and unbeknownst to us it is inserted in the datacenter in our daily lives." Every video and photo will be uploaded to the cloud, tweeted, posted to Facebook, and emailed to family. All that requires datacenters, Feldman said.

"We are using the datacenter constantly. You go to Google Maps, you go to the datacenter. You use Twitter, you use the datacenter. If I take your datacenter away from you by taking away your radio, you have nothing. You have a device that isn't good for anything but playing Angry Birds.

"So large is this transformation in the datacenter, so all-encompassing, there is nothing similar about datacenters between today and 2005."

Datacenters, he notes, are now located in different places where energy costs are lower than average, such as Prineville, Ore., site of a major Facebook datacenter. Previously, datacenters were located in cities such as San Jose, Calif. And the architecture changed -- they are no longer boxy, generic buildings.

"They are finely tooled systems seeking to cool servers and infrastructure with ambient air," Feldman told us. "They are architected and engineered in a way that's different."

The servers are different: Dell or HP in 2005, Quanta or Foxconn today. Switches, software controllers, and storage are all different as well. Likewise, software such as Hadoop and Cassandra was unavailable in 2005.

And SDN is part of that fundamental transformation. "It's a response that says we used to link together PCs, printers, and a few servers with Ethernet. We now control thousands of servers. We can add some intelligence, some control and manageability to the network that we previously couldn't do and didn't need."

SDN adds centralization to previously decentralized systems. SDN enables decisions based on traffic patterns in the network, rather than pre-set rules. "Some modest amount of centralization and control benefits the system, particularly because we can learn and have software that modifies the rules in the network based on what's actually happening there," says Feldman. "That software can communicate and work across many switches, whereas in the past each switch had its own software and would learn independently."

It's a heck of a leap: from Papal inaugurations to SDN.

What networking metaphors are available for other grand public events, such as the Olympics, Super Bowl, and periodic availability of the McDonald's McRib sandwich? Feel free to make outrageous suggestions on the message board below.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading.

Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to mwagner@lightreading.com.

(18)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
2/16/2014 | 2:50:08 AM
Re: The (data)center of the world
Mitch, 

"You think Google Glass is going to take off?"

Yes, I think it's going to surprise many. Good Glass is supposed to hit the market in just some months' time, around mid-year, at a tag price of $600, or so, just about what a smartphone costs.

This price is much more attractive and accessible to the initial $1.500. This means anyone who can actually buy a smartphone can opt this year for buying Glass, instead. 

After all this time and feedback Google is better prepared and most likely has improved the product. As for the apps, that's still to see what developers are going to come up when Glass is actually in the market. 

Developers need to gain more experience developing apps for Glass. Adapting from a smartphone, or a tablet doesn't work. 

According to a BI Intelligence report Glass is going to sell millions by 2016. I do believe so, too. :)

-Susan
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/13/2014 | 6:57:24 PM
Re: The (data)center of the world
You think Google Glass is going to take off? I see a lot of resistance, more than the usual pushback against emerging technology. And I still haven't seen a compelling application that doesn't work better on a phone or tablet. 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
2/11/2014 | 8:17:36 AM
Re: The (data)center of the world
Mitch, 

"I sometimes think about how odd the photo on the right -- and millions more like it, of people with their faces turned to their mobile devices, or recording things on mobile -- will look to people of future generations. "Oh, yes, people did that in the 2010s," our descendants will say. "Wasn't that odd?""

Yes. :D And they will probably be doing that while all looking at the same odd old pictures on their Google Glass. By the way, in just a few years' time the next picture of this kind will be of people wearing Google Glass. 

-Susan
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/10/2014 | 6:05:27 PM
Re: The (data)center of the world
I sometimes think about how odd the photo on the right -- and millions more like it, of people with their faces turned to their mobile devices, or recording things on mobile -- will look to people of future generations. "Oh, yes, people did that in the 2010s," our descendants will say. "Wasn't that odd?" 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
2/6/2014 | 10:03:43 AM
Re: The (data)center of the world
Gabriel, 

Yes, that, too. I wouldn't be surprised if some teachers start using it in creative writing classes for a comparing and contrasting exercise. Or something else. 

If you think for a minute about how different life is since all the mobile devices became mainstream you can also see how much human communications changed. And here I am not talking about the obvious. :/

-Susan
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/6/2014 | 9:35:46 AM
Re: The (data)center of the world
The amazing thing about this picture is how viral it has gone. And that you can use it to dicuss just about any aspect of teleco networking.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
2/6/2014 | 5:59:05 AM
The (data)center of the world
Mitch, 

Those two pictures are a clear illustration of how much the world has changed in less than 10 years. Indeed, we see the world differently.

We can't even say we see the world with different eyes as for the majority their eyes are always behind a mobile device most of the time.

How many times have you seen someone recording, or taking a picture of something extraordinary to later on watch it on the screen? Meanwhile, they lost the moment of the real experience of being present.

Oh, well. As for data centers, companies are building them everywhere. Google and Facebook have data centers in Finland and Sweden. They have said that one of the reasons is the quality of the water.

-Susan 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/5/2014 | 8:53:56 AM
Re: Flush with success
Telco data centers are just now beginning to change, and the biggest changes are still to come. That aside, I thought we were going for absurd comparisons. The last paragraph of the original post suggested that to me ("outrageous suggestons"). But I've misread things before.
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/5/2014 | 8:29:24 AM
Re: Beyond the DC
Indeed they are. My point was that the opportunity in the metro space might be bigger for SDN than in the data center.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
2/5/2014 | 6:16:08 AM
Re: Flush with success
Isn't the AMD guy's point, though, that datacenters have indeed changed quite a lot?

Are you saying he is mistaken?
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Column
In the second of a three-part series, OpenCloud's Jeff Gordon delves deeper into the driving forces for adopting a converged service layer.
Edge computing is a compelling option for telcos looking to balance tightening finances with increasing demands for bandwidth and processing speed. 
The conclusions of a new survey, commissioned by OpenCloud and conducted by Heavy Reading, suggests that the move towards converged service layers is now well underway.
WiFi is offering a challenge to the network-centric cellular status quo and that's something that mobile network operator CEOs recognize, believes Devicescape CEO Dave Fraser.
NFV can bring operational headaches as well as operational gains, argues Andy Huckridge.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.