Despite some recent obituaries published by my peers, software-defined networking is not dead. But perhaps certain aspects of it are dead or dying. If that’s the case, I say: “SDN is dead. Long live SDN.”
As an analyst who focuses on network management research, I am particularly intrigued by software-defined networking (SDN). As SDN architectures are deployed in data centers, local area networks and WANs, network management practices will have to evolve. For instance, SDN may make it easier for cloud administrators to provision network services and connectivity for a new application, but how do you ensure that your new programmable network remains compliant with configuration controls and policies? Is your performance management tool able to model and monitor an SDN controller? If you have traditionally relied about appliance-based load balancers and firewalls in your data center, how do you monitor and manage those network functions when they become virtualized services that are as mobile and dynamic as the workloads they serve?
In part 1 of this series of four posts, we examined the grand vision of the software-defined datacenter (SDD). In this second post of the series, we will take a look at the core components of the SDD (see Figure 1) and provide a brief evaluation of how mature these components currently are.