Here’s our weekly roundup of recent happenings:
1. ONF reaches 100 members
Who cares? The Fort Mill Times of Fort Mill, S.C., that’s who.
Well, you should, too. The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has gathered a membership that one could breezily describe as “everybody.” The organziation now has the OpenDaylight project to contend with, possibly elevating more OpenFlow alternatives, but that doesn’t change the ONF’s status as a major SDN voice.
The ONF’s release doesn’t specify who the 100th member was. Instead it lists three “newest additions:” TorreyPoint, Coriant, and Virtela — a consultant, an optical-networking vendor, and a cloud services provider.
2. F5 Updates BIG-IP
This week’s release of version 11.4 of BIG-IP represented a mini-milestone for F5. Having now completed a refresh on the hardware and software sides, F5 says it’s able to offer the ability to move an application between physical and virtual instantiations of BIG-IP without interruption.
That’s important not only because customers are getting used to blending physical and virtual machines, but because of a shift in mindset: “scaling,” to them, is less about adding bandwidth and more about the applications, says Alan Murphy, F5’s director of enterprise marketing architecture. That makes sense, considering that more and more, the enterprise is built around particular applications.
3. Startup Corsa Gets $4.2M in Funding
Corsa Technology Inc. announced a $4.2 million Series A round on July 13. The Ottawa-based startup isn’t yet talking about its technology, but it’s going to have something to do with the data plane, judging by the image on Corsa’s homepage.
The senior team has a semiconductor emphasis. CTO Yatish Kumar was a chip expert with Nortel and later with Catena Networks, which got acquired by Ciena. CEO Bruce Gregory was formerly CEO of Extreme Packet Devices, one of the PMC-Sierra acquisitions during the dot-com bubble circa 2000.
Corsa’s round was led by Celtic House Venture Partners.
4. Cloud Services Require Better Cloud Assurance
Back-office software, such as OSS/BSS, is an esoteric branch of telecom technology that’s going to need more attention as SDN and NFV emerge. Service assurance technologies, in particular, will have to monitor the cloud more completely and more actively, according to a report, “Service Assurance in SDN & Cloud,” issued by research firm Heavy Reading this week.
It’s all about the subscriber experience. Service assurance will have to take intervene ahead of time if it looks like a problem is brewing, analyst Ari Banerjee argues in the report.
That could give service providers more chances to charge for service level agreements (SLAs). One of the big hopes behind SDN — and, really, any other technology the telcos consider — is the potential for creating new, revenue-generating services and options.
5. How Many Jobs Will SDN Destroy?
Here’s something I’ve wondered about for a while: What happens to all the network admins if SDN truly takes off and automates networks all over the place? On SearchSDN, Patrick Hubbard of IT management firm SolarWinds offered a prediction this week that seems likely: The network admin job will become all about programming, rather than fixing access control lists. The shift will take training and transformation, and it won’t necessarily be easy, but at least it’s not a bleak vision of a humans-free data center.