We hope you enjoyed the Jan. 9 webinar on how to write a software-defined networking RFI. Sponsored by SDNCentral and HP, the webinar teaches what you need to know to choose a solution that makes sense for your organization.
After the demo, presenters Dr. Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler & Associates and Mike Banic, vice president of marketing for HP Networking, took questions from participants. Read the Q&A below, watch the full presentation here, or check out the teaser video and take advantage of additional resources:
- Listen to a podcast of the webinar.
- Read a PDF transcript of the webinar.
- Download a PDF of presentation slides.
Will I need to replace my existing network hardware in order to support SDN applications?
Ashton Metzler: Based on the network equipment you have, you may not have to replace it in order to support SDN. It might be possible for that equipment to either support SDN the way it is or to support it with a minor upgrade. Independent of that, you should make sure that whatever network equipment you are buying now can support SDN.
HP: HP has implemented OpenFlow on over 50 switches and 10 routers in its portfolio. Many of these platforms require a simple software update to support OpenFlow and SDN and therefore provide investment protection for our customers.
Should I first look to deploy SDN in my data center or campus network?
Ashton Metzler: Like any new way of doing networking, there are benefits associated with SDN and there are risks. If an IT organization is looking to implement SDN for the first time, they should look to balance the risk and the reward, whether that is in the data center or in the campus. For example, the first implementation should pose very minimum risk to the business, but it should still provide some value. Network tap is an example of such a use case.
HP: We have developed SDN solutions for both data center & campus. Depending on business requirements, either option is viable. Businesses should look at what delivers them the most ROI.
How can we anticipate troubleshooting between the controller and OpenFlow-enabled switches?
Ashton Metzler: You should always anticipate that any network, including a SDN, will require troubleshooting. Because of that, when you are evaluating a vendor’s SDN solutions you should carefully consider their ability to troubleshoot their solutions.
HP: Vendors such as HP have developed tools that are integrated into their management platform, IMC, to assist in troubleshooting and managing SDN networks including the infrastructure, controller, and SDN applications.
Can you convince me that OpenFlow is scalable enough for my data centers? Today I believe in traditional networking and overlays/products provided in the cloud by software more than OpenFlow.
Ashton Metzler: One of the best ways to understand the current scalability of OpenFlow is to look at the results of the testing of OpenFlow that has been done both by vendors and by organizations such as InCNTRE.
What skills will my IT team need to acquire in order to plan for, deploy, and maintain and SDN network?
Ashton Metzler: Your team should be capable of doing a thorough assessment of potential SDN solutions including being able to compare the various protocols that are part of the solutions as well as how key functionality such as network virtualization is implemented. On a going-forward basis, your team may need to develop programming skills if you intend to create programs to take advantage of the programmability of the network.
HP: HP has developed SDN services to help with the people, process and technology changes that IT organizations will face when deploying SDN. In addition, HP has developed training and certification offers for SDN. For more information visit www.hp.com/sdn.