Since the SDN movement kicked off with the development of OpenFlow in 2008-2009, we’ve seen an evolution of SDN, encompassing an increasing number of protocols and growing into an architectural approach and mindset. As one of the leading protocols and effective standards-bearer (almost literally) of SDN, OpenFlow has been in the spotlight and been both lauded and criticized. Regardless, OpenFlow has been one of the critical pillars in the original SDN movement. As we round out the year in 2016, we stand at the crossroads for OpenFlow and many in the SDN ecosystem are contemplating the role it needs to play in the future. With that in mind, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and ON.Lab recently commissioned the SDxCentral research team to investigate and create an OpenFlow Report on its current uptake in the market.
The report, OpenFlow: State of the Union Report, is now available for download from ONF’s website. And for the ONF’s point of view on this, we highly recommend reading Timon Sloane’s blog post on the ONF website. Timon joined the ONF recently as the Vice President of Standards and Membership.
This commissioned OpenFlow Report was compiled after two months of research, including one-on-one interviews with more than 15 participants including leading end, members of industry foundations, and technology vendors. Our analysts also looked at research data gathered from our SDN Controller NV Survey, which had responses from a total of 200 participants, including at least 120 end users. To the best of our ability, we have presented an analysis of the aggregate perception of the evolution of OpenFlow today.
What you’ll find in the OpenFlow report is a quick background on how OpenFlow 1.0 came on the scene in 2009 and how the ONF has taken and evolved over time till today. The report also talks about how OpenFlow has seen limited success in enterprises, particularly around campus networks—notwithstanding early adopter success in research and education and in some limited verticals including healthcare and logistics companies. On the other hand, it’s seen traction in the data center and in service provider wide-area networks, both on virtual and physical switches.
Our OpenFlow report, completed in September of this year, also covers the concerns many service providers have that there aren’t any production-ready OpenFlow devices that work at scale and that major vendors have a hard time offering full-fledged OpenFlow-enabled devices for large scale deployments. And yet some of the world’s largest cloud providers – including Google and AT&T – have been strong proponents of SDN and have embedded OpenFlow technology into their networks.
We don’t want to give away too much and encourage you to head over to the ONF website to download a copy for yourself. A huge thanks to the ONF and ON.Lab for commissioning the report and to the service providers and report interviewees for providing us with their time and valuable insights.
And as always, our research team is open to feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.