You have nothing to lose but your chains!
Is a revolution in networking on the horizon? At the beginning of February HP announced a portfolio of OpenFlow-enabled switches, providing customers with the broadest choice in the industry for simplifying network management while meeting a wide range of bandwidth, performance and budget needs. The portfolio spans 16 models and would now support OpenFlow Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology. Is it surprising that a company on HP’s scale should bother to address such a tiny niche market? Not if you are sensitive to the winds of change…
Network technology had its roots in the Cold War era, when full decentralization was a smart strategy for defending the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) and maintaining reliable performance across unreliable or war-damaged network links. In today’s data centers, however, a pair of redundant, centralized controllers should be all that’s needed to ensure reliability and survivability.
Time for a revolution? Yes, indeed! And if you judge a revolution by the quality of its leaders, then you cannot help being dazzled by the line-up of Internet giants that got together last year to found the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), aiming to accelerate SDN standards and solutions. Its first conference was massively oversubscribed — still a tiny minority on the world scene, but a sign of an industry hungry for this revolution.
What is SDN? What are the benefits and who reaps them? What has already been achieved and is it living up to its dazzling promise? Where is this revolution taking us in the longer term?
Mark Pearson at HP networking in close touch with the very leading edge of networking development,and we invite him to share some of those insights and broader implications with us.
In best NetEvents tradition, we insist that this keynote is no corporate sales pitch — even though the name Hewlett Packard is itself big news.