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SDN Is More than Agility

by Andrew Lerner  |  July 24, 2014  |  7 Comments

Conversations around SDN are starting to pickup and we’re seeing more tire-kicking and trials from mainstream clients. The bulk of the SDN conversations are around agility (i.e., I want to provide cloud-based services to my constituents but the network provisioning takes a long time). SDN can certainly help here, but there are non-SDN alternatives for this. You can use automation tools for this, and Puppet and Chef come to mind. Perhaps the biggest benefit of SDN is that it fosters long-term innovation in networking. With SDN and de-coupling of hardware/software, you can now innovate independently in hardware and software.  So software innovation isn’t held back by hardware and vice-versa. Also, you aren’t beholden to what existing network vendors do within their R&D. In other words, six guys in a Baltimore garage can bring a network feature/application to market without having to raise $35M in funding to wrap sheet metal around it and spin ASICS.  Then, they can port the application to run on multiple controller platforms assuming we have standard/open interfaces.

Side Note:  this is why there is so much importance associated with the Northbound API initiatives that should come out of OpenDaylight and ONF.

Regards, Andrew

innovation

Category: networking  sdn  

Tags: chef  onf  opendaylight  puppet  sdn  

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
4 years at Gartner
19 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio


Thoughts on SDN Is More than Agility


  1. […] mentioning that networking agility can be delivered via automation tools like Puppet and Chef, I wanted to dive into this topic further. There is a relatively recent trend for networking […]

  2. […] mentioning that networking agility can be delivered via automation tools like Puppet and Chef, I wanted to dive into this topic further. There is a relatively recent trend for networking […]

  3. […] Lerner of Gartner pointed out on his blog that “[p]erhaps the biggest benefit of SDN is that it fosters long-term innovation in […]

  4. […] To date, the “killer use-case” for SDN has been data center agility. SDN can certainly make your network more agile.  However, there are multiple paths to agility, including automation, orchestration and programmable fabrics.  Also, don’t get me started on the fact that the value of SDN is way more than agility. […]

  5. […] Furthermore, for those pontificating that manual changes caused the problem, lets not forget that SDN is way more than just automation and agility. Sure, SDN results in less manual changes, but you can get automation without SDN, and I would […]



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