January 15, 2014

SDN: You Say You Want an Evolution

Steve Wexler raised an interesting question last week: Is SDN revolutionary or evolutionary?

His post touches on a reality that's been bothering me for years. Almost everyone in IT I’ve spoken to in the last three years--from CTOs to admins--has mentioned that network management is one of the biggest impediments to automating the data center. Most are looking to network programmability, and by extension software-defined networking, to solve that problem, yet most have struggled to really make progress toward this transition.

Why? Because thus far SDN has been too revolutionary (read: highly disruptive). Solutions have required buying brand new equipment or deploying overlays. The heart of the challenge lies in delivering interoperability and manageability--both, highly dependent on the size of the ecosystem around a given solution. 

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