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SDN Sizzles in Miami

Aug 2, 2012

No one can deny that 2012 has been a busy summer for the networking industry! Two weeks ago, I shared the exciting developments coming out of the ESCC/Internet2 Joint Techs Conference in Stanford. Last week, I found myself on a plane to Miami. I did not plan to feel the heat on South Beach, but rather to discuss the even hotter emerging trends in SDN with press and analysts from Latin America at the 2012 NetEvents Americas Press and Analyst Summit.Within the past few months, OpenFlow® has become the year’s hottest topic in the USA and Japan, with top vendors competing to roll out OpenFlow® enabled products. We wanted to help the LatAm media to join in and get up to speed on this growing SDN revolution.

As you may recall, I attended the NetEvents EMEA Press and Analyst Summit in Germany in February of this year. At that time, SDN was hot, but not truly understood. In my presentations and discussions in Miami, I pointed out that since February “the walls of the city have shaken,” with industry giants such as Brocade, Dell, Extreme, HP, and NTT Data all rolling out OpenFlow® enabled products. NTT Communications announced its OpenFlow-based Enterprise Cloud Services. Even Cisco, the industry colossus, has announced its first SDN and OpenFlow® capabilities.

However, it is no longer a seller’s market – the power now lies in the hands of the users.

Even though this is an exciting time, much work lies ahead. Everyone is now talking SDN, but with multiple interpretations. I participated in a panel with four of our members and presented a keynote on this very topic at NetEvents Americas. I wanted to introduce and clarify the issues, explaining the different concepts and outlining the key role of agreed specifications and standards in turbulent times.

Overall, this was another fantastic event and I was deluged with interest and questions from media and analysts from this growing region. The experience reinforced the importance of the work we are doing and validated our key messages:

  1. SDN is a truly fundamental change that serves network operators and users.
  2. OpenFlow® is an essential cornerstone that enables all the customer value above it.
  3. SDN is real and industry valued, demonstrated by tangible investments in commercial products and services.
  4. ONF is leading the SDN revolution and is the movement’s brain trust.

--Dan Pitt

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Dan Pitt