Ronny Lam


Why Network Engineers Are Sick of SDN

The Packetpushers think network engineers are getting sick of SDN. And for the most part I must agree:

I argue that the problem most engineers have is one of efficiency. Managing sprawling network topologies, a problem even in small-to-mid enterprises, is every engineer’s pain in the backside.

One is in provisioning, or should I say “orchestration”. Even simple switchport provisioning is a tedious, error-prone process for most networks that can be difficult to delegate. Move up in complexity to something like HTTP server load-balancing with SSL offload, and the tedium and error-proneness only increases.

If SDN solutions available today were addresses these issues – provisioning/orchestration or reducing the time it takes to resolve a failure – network engineers of the world might be more keen to investigate. Instead, SDN for the most part represents potential that network engineers must leverage by themselves.

All that SDN is providing us right now is more possibilities to introduce errors in the network. However, provided that you introduce a provisioning/orchestration platform together with SDN you actually gain all those possibilities. I have wrote this before, with the right orchestration platform there is no real need to introduce SDN. It saves you the hardware investments required for SDN.