We continue our onsite reporting on this last day of the Open Networking Summit. Here are today’s highlights:
Highlight #1 – The Enterprise SDN Framework – Overlays with Service Insertion
Matt Davy of Indiana University talked about his BYOD challenges with 125,000 users on his network. He described extensive use of SDN across his network, and based on his experiences, put forward his framework for an enterprise SDN network. Matt’s framework consists of a virtualized unified access layer across wired and wireless, a fast 10G/40G mid-tier with L3 switches and a 100G high-speed core with virtualized service insertion. To get an advance copy of Matt’s slides from today, register here with your email and we’ll get it to you:
Highlight #2 – Nick McKeown and YoYoMa* incurs wrath of networking research community?
In Nick’s presentation on the verification of SDNs and tools to support OpenFlow deployments, he stirred up controversy amongst network researchers by stating that unlike the ASIC CAD market or the general software space, networking had limited tools and lacked research investments in formal network design, debugging and verification. He listed traceroute, ping, tcpdump, SNMP, Netflow as essentially the only debugging tools. You could see whispers in the audience beginning soon after and lots of post-presentation hallway conversations debating the amount of past investment in protocol stacks, RFCs, commercial tools etc. That aside, his presentation on static header space analysis for formal verification of an SDN (Hassell is a tool that’s implemented this), a test tool for generating packets for complete testing of an OpenFlow network and NDB–an interactive debugger, was well-received.
*YoYoMa – Nick’s acronym for You’re On Your Own, MAte, describing the lack of tools and investment to help with networking deployments
Highlight #3 – Cisco and Juniper anticipate hybrid world but remain vague
Cisco and Juniper both talked about coexistence between existing networks and software-defined networks. They expect to leverage traditional routing protocols with SDNs for the foreseeable future. Dave Ward of Cisco described how SDNs should be linked to analytics and policies, using visibility into the control, data, management, and transport planes to drive more intelligent decisions. Meanwhile, both Cisco and Juniper remained sufficiently vague about their own SDN plans and it’s still unclear when OpenFlow will go into a Juniper production software release, though we hope it’s real soon now.
Highlight #4 – Re-education of network engineers to support SDN revolution
While not directly part of any presentation, there were questions from the audience around the relevancy of network engineers, questions around future skill-sets and whether there would be less or more jobs available for the network engineer with SDN. Related to that, Kindred Healthcare pointed out that network engineers had become specialized due to the proliferation of network devices and protocols, and they had trouble recruiting engineers to keep up with their network growth. Kindred is looking to SDN-enabled automation and central management to mitigate their hiring challenges. With SDN, it appears inevitable that network engineering will transform from efficiently laying down pipes and network devices, to programming APIs to enable business applications to run more efficiently. Will CCNP come to stand for Cisco-Certified Network Programmer?
Highlight #5 – Consistency in value proposition of SDNs across enterprise and SPs
NTT, Kindred Healthcare, IBM all talked about a consistent set of SDN benefits across their networks. So while a diversity of use cases are still emerging, the recognition of business benefits for SDN are at least starting to converge. In their presentations, simplification of the network, derivation of operational efficiencies via automation and verification and visibility through a consistent set of policies being applied to the network stood out as being some of the common key benefits.
Well, that wraps up the Open Networking Summit! We certainly enjoyed the presentations and networking with the community. Thank you to the ONS organizers and Guru in particular for an outstanding event!