Ronny Lam

about://tech

SDN Promises Centralized Management, but We've Heard This All Before

After Ivan Pepelnjak, someone else pulls our feet back to the ground. Mrs. Y, known for some Healthy Paranoia, reminds us of yet another technology where the centralized controller is apparently working very well, with the price of vendor-lock-in.

I’m a bit skeptical regarding the evolutionary changes SDN promises the industry. We’ve seen it all before. The industry had its chance with wireless and blew it.

Unless every vendor is going to implement Openflow, we will get the same problem with SDN. In the end every vendor will have it’s own proprietary API, and it is up to the market to build an abstraction layer again. It is not in the large vendor’s interest to commoditize the hardware, maybe that’s why Cumulus Networks is such a welcome alternative. And don’t rule out the hardware vendors running Openflow. Although I still don’t see these vendors compete on price. Hardware pricing of commodity hardware is still not much cheaper than the large vendors. I presume it is because of the scale.