Users Want 'Open' SDN Done Right
Isn't networking gear supposed to be interoperable? Shouldn't that interoperability prevent vendor lock-in? The answer isn't always "yes," to put it politely. A users' group that convened Wednesday to discuss software-defined networking (SDN) seems determined to make things work in their favor this time. The Open Networking User Group (ONUG) was a one-day conference organized in Boston by consultant Nick Lippis, head of Lippis Enterprises. "Users," in this case, refers mostly to large enterprises, representatives of which gathered to hear talks from SDN-vendor executives, among others. I haven't gotten to talk to attendees yet. But the five-point recommendation they're issuing Thursday morning is rather telling. Here's what they want to see in an "open" network:
- Interoperable networks. When it comes to standards such as OpenFlow or common elements such as hypervisors, everyone has to play nice.
- No vendor lock-in. Everybody ought to support everybody else's switches, services, hypervisors, controllers, and so on.
- Networks that are programmable via northbound application programming interfaces (APIs). Part of the idea here is to speed up service creation by offering easy ways to link networks and applications. But it's also about replacing command-line interfaces with something more modern.
- Increased network visibility. Monitoring needs to be pervasive and more thorough. Moreover, "Open networks should emit real time network statistics to various traffic analytic and Big Data engines to determine network operational state," the recommendation reads.
- An open-networking business model. "ONUG believes that for open networking to accelerate, the industry needs a viable, altruistic, truly open networking business model to drive innovation, fuel research and development and deliver best of breed solutions without allowing individual vendor proprietary interests to derail SDN deployments. Who will be the Red Hat of Open Networking?"
- Intel Invests in Big Switch
- Cisco Extends Its SDN & Cloud Plans
- Carriers Peer Into Virtual World
- Where SDN Is Going Next