Contributed articles are a mainstay of SDNCentral, allowing us to tap into the knowledge of the surrounding community. We’re grateful to all our contributors and hope to read more from them in the coming year. (And if you’d like to join the fold, contact Mike Metz at email@example.com.)
Not every contribution makes the cut. So when we publish something, you know it’s been deemed worthy, that it presents information that we think moves the conversation forward.
But of course, a few stand out every year. Most of them exemplify some aspect of what we’re always looking for in a contributed article: topical insights, illuminating opinions, and/or thoughtful questioning. Here are our top picks for 2014.
David Meyer — A Year Inside OpenDaylight
Meyer was the first person to serve as chair of the OpenDaylight Project. As he prepared to step down, ceding the spot to Colin Dixon, he shared some learnings from a year spent getting OpenDaylight off the ground. Among them: It’s not just about engineers. It’s about engineering systems, and it’s about culture.
Christopher Liljenstolpe — Intelligent Aggregation
Liljenstolpe, of Metaswitch, discussed the hot-potato transfers among nodes inside an Internet point of presence, explaining the implications for flow switching. I liked this article for the technological insight it displayed, and I’m hoping we can cultivate more articles in the same spirit.
David Lenrow — The Most Important Work in SDN
“Have we got it backwards?” Lenrow asks. It’s a common lament: Software-defined networking (SDN) has focused more on controller-level protocols than on the application layer, even though applications are supposedly the entire reason for SDN. It’s a cry I hear commonly now, but Lenrow had his eye on the topic back in April.
Marten Terpstra — VMWorld 2014: A Rebuilding Year
You can’t always have an NSX to announce at your biggest conference of the year. Still, to Terpstra of Plexxi, VMworld this year felt like a pause, as VMware and its customers try to figure out what’s going into the software-defined data center and how the pieces should fit together. It’s the kind of timely analysis we’d love to see more of.
Charlie Ashton — NFV Orchestration for Dummies
NFV “orchestration” is actually more than one thing. That’s a lesson that was slow to dawn on me this year, even though we had a few contributed articles that touched on the subject. The same epiphany is going to spread around the industry throughout 2015, especially as “orchestration” startups start making some noise. Charlie Ashton of Wind River provides a good starting point on the topic.
Shehzad Merchant — Putting the (Whitebox) Cart Before The (SDN) Horse?
Is there a connection between white box switching and SDN? We certainly see how the two could work together, but Merchant persuasively argues that it’s a bit early to force them together.
Derick Winkworth — Truly Successful DevOps Requires a Change in Culture
We ran a series of columns about DevOps during the spring and summer, discussing topics such as workflow automation or continuous delivery. But this one dives straight into a core truth about DevOps: It requires a change in thinking, because programmers will have to relinquish the hero culture they’ve grown up with. A nice dose of reality from Derick Winkworth.
Archana Khetan & Neela Jacques — What Makes Open Source Tick
Open source technology is suddenly the nexus of all SDx topics, but the next year or so should reveal that going open source isn’t an automatic ticket to success. Neela Jacques, executive director of the OpenDaylight Project, discussed what makes an open source project succeed, with “community” topping the list. Separately, marketing consultant Archana Khetan examined the different approaches to openness that are appearing in the market.
Prayson Pate — Real World Lessons and Service Provider Realism
Twice, Pate put on this reporter’s hat to talk to CenturyLink for a front-line perspective. In “Real World Lessons of SDN and NFV,” he explored the carrier’s OSS/BSS work with Ericsson. And his “Service Provider Realism” post delved behind CenturyLink’s big talk about SDN. Pate, by the way, still holds the record for the most frequently read post on SDNCentral.
Marc Cohn — NFV Insider
Finally, special mention goes to Marc Cohn, who has been filing quarterly reports from the ETSI Industry Specifications Group meetings. You can find the latest installment, with links to the previous seven posts, here.