2013 was the year I started working on SDN – specifically in the area of devising professional services for Cisco ONE and Application Centric Infrastructure, ACI. A few months ago, I used a compendium to summarize my Cisco Domain TenSM blogs. This was well received, so I thought it would be a good idea to wrap up the year with a summary of my 2013 journey into the SDN world, and in particular the adoption challenges I learned about along the way, some of which are illustrated in the diagram below.
The other week I attended the “Software Defined Networking 2013” conference in London. This is a UK-based event for the discussion of SDN, OpenFlow and Network Virtualisation Solutions from a strategic perspective. There were quite a few interesting perspective s I picked up at this conference. In particular, the conference for me reinforced the potential of SDN – but if you apply it to the wrong problem, you may not get the return you hope for!
Top of mind for me, then, coming out of this conference was a demo of “What SDN Can Do For You” from one of our competitors. At best, the phrase “using a sledge hammer to crack a nut” comes to mind.
The demo came from our friends in Palo Alto, who once (boldly but incorrectly!) predicted that “Cisco UCS would be dead a year after launch”. They gave a SDN-focused demo that, when I “peeled back the onion”, didn’t demonstrate a compelling SDN use case. Rather, it convinced me that if you have this particular problem as illustrated in their demo, you don’t need SDN: you need a new vendor!
Tags: ACI, application centric infrastructure, architectural approach, Cisco collaboration, Cisco Services, Cisco WebEx, jabber, Jabber Video, network virtualization, onePK, SDN, software defined network
Last week I started my SDN reflections on the London Gartner Data Center Conference, and I found I had quite a lot to discuss.
Last week I covered:
- Do we need SDN?
- SDN and the Gartner Hype Cycle
- SDN Deployment Models
So here is the concluding part. This week I’ll cover:
- Overlay-Based SDN — and the questionable assumptions being made by others in this area (good for Gartner for calling these out!)
- The SDN Vendor Explosion Challenge,
- The “Unspoken Costs” of SDN Deployment, and
- The “How” of SDN is still missing.
I hope you find this useful and informative and as always, feel free to debate with me around my observations!
Last week I was in London for the Gartner Data Center Conference. As always there was a wide range of interesting topics being discussed, all very useful. Working in Cisco Data Center Services, I am interested in many data center topics, however this year I was interested to hear perspectives on SDN, how the market is evolving, and how the attendees – including many senior IT practitioners – are considering SDN adoption.
From a Cisco perspective, we were showcasing the recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which generated a lot of interest. There is growing awareness among our customers that ACI could do for networks and applications what the Cisco UCS has done for the server market (with UCS server profiles in the latter proving a good analogy to help customers understand the potential of ACI).
So what were some of my key takeaways from the SDN discussion I heard here? And what were the questions that in my view are still not being discussed sufficiently across the industry?
By now, given all the launch and blogging activity activity over the past week or so, I am sure your understanding of and interest in Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) will have grown. Many of you will be asking “how do I get started as quickly as possible?”, and “how can I free up some time and resources to investigate?” You understand the “what” – now, as I blogged recently on SDN, it’s time to understand more about the “why” and take action on the “how”. How then do you get off that start line as quickly as possible?
As with many things in life, it helps if you get help from someone who has “been there” and “done that”. And that’s where Cisco Services comes in, as Scott Clark, the VP for our Data Center Services team, introduced last week. So let’s talk about why Cisco Services should be your partner in this application centric world, and what services can help you.