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At the CloudExpo NYC event in 1 month, I’m going to present a talk titled “OpenFlow is SDN Yet SDN is Not Only OpenFlow.” In a look at the SDN market, I hope to encourage everyone to look at the broader definitions of SDN and virtual networking.
SDN (Software Defined Networking) is a new approach to networking, both to the data center, and as a connection across data centers. SDN defines the networks in software, meaning designers can operate, control, and configure networks without physical access to the hardware.
What’s the point? Why make a distinction?
Blogger Christopher Hoff doesn’t agree it’s worth our time to make a distinction:…
But I still think it is very important, especially from the enterprise standpoint, and as the market evolves.
SDN focus on either cloud service provider or cloud application benefits. SDN at Layer 2 (OpenFlow) can benefit the cloud service provider, but don’t always pass on to application customers.
Overlay SDN uses Network Function Virtualisation, allowing application users to control addressing, topology, protocols, & encryption. Overlay SDN frees users to deploy any hybrid cloud resource across hardware, vendors or geography. Application users regain security, control and visibility.
Effectively, overlay SDN frees the network and applications from underlying hardware.
The SDN market can be split between application and provider benefits. So why aren’t we talking about all of SDN?
New technologies are making it possible for enterprises to use virtualized networks over any type of hardware in any physical location – including unifying physical data centers and federating cloud-based data centers. More on the talk here.
In the talk session – the first in the SDN & Network Innovation track – I will highlight some of our customer use cases. I’m hoping to demonstrate a broader SDN definition to include things like overlay SDN, application-layer concerns, and of course, OpenFlow.