Ronny Lam


Stretching the Definition of SDN, Again

Software Defined Networking is not yet defined, we have seen that already. SDNCentral did an interview with the CEO of a very interesting startup, named Plexxi. It is basically a dynamic DWDM solution that is managed by a central controller. And for the record the controller has a north-bound API. So the question, from SDNCentral is: “What’s your definition of SDN? Is Plexxi an SDN company?”

That you need to ask for our definition of SDN is telling… That said, one common thread among various SDN definitions is that SDN gives us the opportunity to abstract the operation of a network as a single system. … The real value of our solution is in what Affinity Networks deliver to our customers, not that we used SDN to build it. The fact is this: SDN is a methodology, not an end state.

I totally agree with this quote. In my opinion it is indeed a methodology. Just like “pair programming” it is not a goal on it’s self but is merely a very good way to deliver a solution. I think it is time to define SDN and write it in stone. For if I take the definition literally every network already is Software Defined, i.e. software is running on the networking devices.

Now back to Plexxi. I really like their solution and I could even agree that this is somehow SDN. But the most funny thing of it all is that SDNCentral is asking a CEO for his definition of SDN.