Ronny Lam


The State of SDN

Besides yesterdays definition the SDNcentral presentation also holds the current state of SDN:

Similar to the typical enterprise or service provider software market, SDN currently requires a lot of experimentation and customization.

I talk to a lot of engineers and decision makers in both of those markets and none of them is experimenting with SDN. They try to follow it and put it on their future roadmap. Besides myself the only people I know personally that have been experimenting with SDN are scientists.

Should we therefore ignore it? Certainly not, networking has not changed for the last 15 years and is currently at a tipping point. However, it is still uncertain where it will be tipping towards. If you ask me, SDN has a future, but overall standardisation is still needed. Not only on the protocol side, but also on the interface side.

I’d love to close with how you could start with SDN:

  1. Learn and read-up as much as you can on SDN;
  2. understand your own networking problems to identify a business use-case where SDN can bring value;
  3. work with the SDN-community, trusted vendors and advisors to design a Proof of Concept (PoC);
  4. use what you learn from PoC to determine appropriate next steps.

So yeah, this is the state of SDN. Still fragmented and experimental, but with a lot of promise.