ONF recently had the pleasure of attending APPNATION Enterprise Summit in San Francisco and moderating a panel entitled The Virtualization of the Network: How Software-Defined Networking Enhances Enterprise App Deployment and Performance. During the session, I spoke with representatives from IBM, Big Switch Networks, and Google about their involvement in ONF and the opportunities their organizations see in OpenFlow® and Software-Defined Networking.
The panel spoke directly to the impact OpenFlow® and SDN will have on application services in the enterprise network. Participants also addressed the role that SDN will play in solving the network scalability and virtualization problems that enterprise IT managers face. It has been noted that 70 percent of enterprise IT costs go to maintenance, including network configuration and operation. One of ONF’s goals is to reduce or eliminate these costs by virtualizing the network, so it integrates with the enterprise’s increasingly virtualized computing infrastructure and better serves the business’s strategies.
During the session, Rakesh Saha, director, product management, systems networking, IBM, said that SDN with OpenFlow® is an innovative approach to networking that is applicable to a broad set of customers. SDN represents an approach to Enterprise Data Center networking that is better suited to the needs of virtualized workloads and cloud applications. When IBM talks to its enterprise customers with large infrastructures, they are most concerned with using the infrastructure efficiently. He went on to explain that OpenFlow, with its open interfaces, allows for efficient and easier management of networks and provides network services to customers based on their needs and applications.
Big Switch Networks said that its customers are using more servers, developing more applications, and creating a larger demand for network uses. Their VP of Marketing, Isabelle Guis, explained that SDN brings greater flexibility and allows dynamic adaptation of the network to business, and that is why they are contributing to this transformation. She said that SDN brings value to enterprise customers by making it far easier to enhance existing services and innovate delivering new applications.
Google has been experimenting with the use of SDN and OpenFlow® in the WAN. Amit Agarwal, product manager, stated that with SDN some of the changes we can expect are a finely tunable, more manageable and better utilized infrastructure, as well as a rich suite of services. It should be now possible to marry networks with all the innovation that has been happening in large scale distributed systems. With SDN, networks should evolve more quickly compared to what we have today.
Check out more highlights from this session here: