In addition to my recent recap blog on the Open Networking Summit 2015, I recorded a brief video with my thoughts on the event. In the video, I describe some of the unexpected patterns I saw, such as the importance of services in the SD-WAN session I chaired or of network automation in the data center SDN session.
Check out ESG's On Location video for the event:
(In case you're wondering, the person gracing the video's preview image is Ada Lovelace, English mathematician and writer, best known for her work on the Analytical Engine, a precursor to the computer.)
Daniel: This is Daniel Conde from ESG. Recently, I attended the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California. During the opening keynote about SDN and enterprises, we learned that there's been progress made, but a lot of process issues rather than technology issues are one of the key inhibitors to getting wide adoption. But one by one, companies are going beyond POC into further stages to understand how it can benefit companies in the CAPEX and OPEX side. I also chaired a session on SD-Wan in Enterprises and we heard from vendors: Contextream, Pertino Networks and Packet Design as well as a user Freewire broadband, which is a broadband provider in the northwest which was using a solution from VeloCloud.
Although the technologies being discussed were varied, we learned that services, otherwise known as metal boxes, is a key element in making SD-Wan work since the technology allows you to stitch together different services. So although most people think about OPEX reduction as the key driver to SD-Wan, this was an interesting observation. I also went to a session on OpenStack and SDN. And we learned that Neutron, one of the key blueprints or technologies that underpin SDN inside OpenStack, had its problems in the early days but is making slow progress toward the standardization and getting parity with some of the older technology called nova networking.
I also went to a SDN solution's data center track where we had representatives from Arista, Big Switch, Cisco, and a user, RackN, talked about how network automation was a key driver toward SDN adoption inside enterprises. So we learned about a variety of technologies including ACI from Cisco as well as a lot of technologies have vetted into projects like Arista EOS.
One of the small things that was a surprise to me was the fact that IPV6 adoption may actually alleviate some of the needs for SDN because it basically solves a lot of problems in the IP address space. But we'll see, because there's still some time to go. Finally, I went to the closing panel where there was a discussion amongst representatives from the Open Daylight project, Lightspeed Ventures, Dell, and a user, Comcast, that talked about how open source was a driving innovator toward getting SDN solutions out in the marketplace. There are very few vendors who have actually gone to the final stage but small elements are in place.
At the trade show floor, we saw a variety of companies, research institutions and open source projects show in introughability between a variety of SDN platforms. This is really good. Because in the past, there was a fear that a lot of the OpenFlow-based solutions did not work with each other. But finally, we saw some proof that these elements from different companies can work together on the same network and share information.
The Open Network Summit has been around for several years. It's grown up from being a very technical and academic-oriented conference to something that is addressing the needs of Telcos, enterprises as well as the emerging technologies and we expect more innovations to come in the following years.