& cplSiteName &

SDN & OpenFlow: Creating a More Efficient Data Center

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
12/10/2012
50%
50%

It's hard not to be skeptical about software-defined networking (SDN). Hyped as tech's next big thing, SDN could just as easily end up being the next big bubble to pop. But SDN has something going for it that makes me optimistic: Service providers are in the driver's seat this time, not equipment vendors.

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) -- which gets credit for coining the term SDN and is responsible for overseeing development of the OpenFlow protocol -- is led by some of the world's largest data center operators, including Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Facebook , Goldman Sachs Group, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). Several of those companies and others successfully use SDN for virtual networking in their data centers. Some, such as NTT Communications, are even going as far as developing their own SDN controller software. And these data center operators are sticking together when it comes to working on standards, preferring to focus on the ONF rather than the vendor-dominated Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

SDN is not a technology looking for a market. It is technology that data center and network operators are demanding because they are tired of waiting months or even years for switching and routing equipment vendors to incorporate the features they want and need. And in the case of data center operators in particular, they desperately need networking technology to keep pace with the server virtualization that has revolutionized their businesses.

By separating control from forwarding in the network and then centralizing the control in software, SDN promises to help operators and enterprises accomplish tasks such as network configuration and provisioning, load balancing and security policy enforcement more quickly, more efficiently and less expensively. And centralized control lays the groundwork for SDN's first killer app: data center network virtualization.

The promise of network virtualization motivated VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) to spend a whopping $1.26 billion on startup controller vendor Nicira Networks Inc. -- a move that validated SDN as a technology and OpenFlow as a protocol. Now software startups and incumbent hardware vendors are trying to capitalize on the centralized programmable network controller as one of the first real SDN market opportunities.

The latest Heavy Reading Insider, "OpenFlow Controllers: Implementing SDN in the Data Center explores how operators are using SDN, and it examines the competing ideas for how to deliver applications, such as virtualization, load balancing and policy enforcement. It's too early to draw conclusions about whether standalone SDN controllers will be profitable when the controller functionality could end up bundled with the applications themselves. It's even premature to say that OpenFlow will be the de facto standard for linking control software with equipment, but it has early momentum with data center operators using it today in production environments.

What is clear is that data center and network operators have more power right now than they have ever had in determining how they provision and deliver services. That's a position they've longed to be in for all of the 25 years that I've covered networking, and it certainly gives me hope that SDN is the real deal.

— Dawn Bushaus, Analyst, Heavy Reading Insider


OpenFlow Controllers: Implementing SDN in the Data Center, a 25-page report, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,595. This report is available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/insider.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
As the march towards virtualization continues, containers will come into their own.
As the industry moves toward virtualized solutions in data centers, developers are creating switches to help with the bandwidth backlog service providers are experiencing. As a result, vendors are putting more switch devices on the market than at any time in the past decade.
The management and orchestration of virtualized networks is one of the toughest challenges facing operators and their technology suppliers, so there are plenty of initiatives and vendors addressing it.
With cable operators facing challenges in the upstream return path, many are turning to Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX) to address the issue. However, FDX likely won't be available until 2019 and will face its own challenges along the way, leaving the industry to make do until relief is available.
As fog computing starts to play a bigger role in networking strategies, the importance of virtualization to the distributed cloud will become increasingly apparent.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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 Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Webscale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent webscale operators report, which featured research on how webscale operators view the market, the best webscale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Ericsson: 5G Heralds 'New' New Economy
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/12/2017
Next Plugfest Gets G.fast Closer to Market
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 1/13/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Cable Has One Thing Verizon Needs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.