Thanks to SDN, the “Controller” word pops up in many network architecture discussions these days. In networking alone, we’re already surrounded by many “controllers” and we’re busy introducing more as we speak: For example, Session Border Controllers or Wireless LAN Controllers have been around for quite some time, and have recently announced the OpenDaylight Controller, the Cisco XNC, or the Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller. So what is a “Controller” in networking terms, and how many do we need in emerging network architectures?
I admit it. I’ve grown weary of the debate about whether SDN includes network programmability or whether or not SDN can only be accomplished through NfV, or the relative merits of control plane / dataplane separation. I will leave those debates to others more focused on the technology itself. Personally, I have been more fascinated with what I see as the new business opportunities emerging around SDN.
Certainly there is a raft of opportunities for start-up companies in the controller space or in the virtualization of various networking functions. Many innovative new companies are re-examining existing network functions within the SDN paradigm; that will lead to some potentially new and useful approaches that may be cheaper/easier/faster than current designs. No doubt many customers will see value in these new ways of doing things, and everybody will benefit.
But that’s not what I find fascinating about SDN. What I am starting to see are ideas that are completely out of the box, and would likely not be thought of by typical network technologists working alone. Let me discuss a few categories of things I have seen possible with the emerging technologies.
The Network as a Compute Resource
It turns out Read More »
As we continue to expand on the conversation of the Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE), this week provides yet another educational opportunity (Register here) to discuss a topic that has become some what top of mind to customers, partners and even investors alike. This is the topic of open source in networked environments. While Cisco has always been known for open standards, it has now stepped up into the open source conversation in a fairly big way over the couple of years with its contributions to both OpenStack and the more recent OpenDaylight project under the Linux foundation.
Join me and my good friends Dan Frye and Jim Zemlin, Tuesday June 18th at 8:30 am Pacific, in a webcast as we discuss open source, networking, communities and projects, the opportunities entailed, the win-win-win model (or win-cube model as I like to call it, for the Authors, for the Community and for the Enterprise), and the recently announced Open Daylight project hosted by the Linux Foundation. Thank you, Shashi Kiran, for organizing a wonderful event and opportunity to talk about one of my favorite subjects, Open at Cisco.
While the topic of Open Source is not new, the topic of using open source in today’s networks has gained momentum in recent times, which, not surprisingly, coincides with the broader conversation of open networking. While there is considerable interest, there is also a lot of confusion. Several questions pop-up:
- What is Open Source vs. an Open Standard?
- How do Open Source consortiums work? What is the governance model?
- What are the security implications of Open Source based implementations?
- What are the likes of Cisco and IBM doing in this space?
- What is the Open Daylight project?
- Is open networking the same as open-source networking?
If you would like to get an overview of not only mechanics behind open source projects and communities, but also get a great overview of the recently announced OpenDaylight project from the Linux Foundation, I invite you to register for the 4th session of the Cisco Open Network Environment webcast series “Using Open Source in Networked Environments – Discover the Possibilities and Benefits” broadcasting on June 18th at 9 a.m. PST.
Joining me in this webcast as I host three industry luminaries in the Open Source community including Michael Enescu, Cisco Chief Technology Officer for Open Source Initiatives at Cisco, Daniel Frye, Vice president of Open Systems Development from IBM joining and Jim Zemlin the Executive Director of the Linux foundation.