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2/1
2013
Terry Slattery

Software Defined Networking (SDN) at CMUG

I have been researching SDN (Software Defined Networking) for a customer and then for presentation to the Cisco Mid-Atlantic User Group ( CMUG). In my opinion, SDN will be a big change for networking, similar to the change that occurred with Virtual Machines in the compute industry or virtual memory for software development.

The CMUG presentation slides and recording are available at here.

The presentation runs 80 minutes. If you’re already familiar with OpenFlow and how it works, you can skip to slide 19, where I being to talk about SDN itself. The last slide includes a set of references for further education. There are two references that I have found particularly enlightening. One is in the listed references, a presentation by Scott Shenker, “A Gentle Introduction to SDN”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXsCQdshMr4

The second reference, which was published after my CMUG presentation, is from Brad Hedlund:

http://bradhedlund.com/2013/01/28/network-virtualization-a-next-generation-modular-platform-for-the-virtual-network/

Scott and Brad both work for Nicira, which was recently acquired by VMware, so you may feel that the Nicira marketing message is getting too much credence. Personally, I see how the virtual networking that is described in both references can have a big impact on networking. The analogy that I used in my SDN presentation is relative to the changes that occurred when virtual memory became widespread. [Note: I describe the analogy in more detail in the recording than is evident in the slides. I’ll do a blog post about the similarities in the near future.]

There is currently a lot of hype around SDN and you can see a lot of companies trying to position themselves as an SDN player. These companies can get away with it because SDN is currently somewhat ill defined. We should see the definition of SDN become more well defined in the next year or two. You will then be able to better distinguish which companies are real players and which companies are trying to ride on the SDN bandwagon.

-Terry

Terry Slattery

Terry Slattery

Principal Architect

Terry Slattery is a Principal Architect at NetCraftsmen, an advanced network consulting firm that specializes in high-profile and challenging network consulting jobs. Terry is currently working on network management, SDN, business strategy consulting, and interesting legal cases. He is the founder of Netcordia, inventor of NetMRI, has been a successful technology innovator in networking during the past 20 years, and is co-inventor on two patents. He has a long history of network consulting and design work, including some of the first Cisco consulting and training. As a consultant to Cisco, he led the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface. Prior to Netcordia, Terry founded Chesapeake Computer Consultants, which became a Cisco premier training and consulting partner. At Chesapeake, he co-invented and patented the v-LAB system to provide hands-on access to real hardware for the hands-on component of internetwork training classes. Terry co-authored the successful McGraw-Hill text "Advanced IP Routing in Cisco Networks," is the second CCIE (1026) awarded, and is a regular speaker at Enterprise Connect and Interop. He currently blogs at TechTarget, No Jitter and our very own NetCraftsmen.

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