Through this (probably far too long) series on SDNs, we have looked at BGP, Fibbing, and Openflow. BGP and Fibbing would be described as augmented control planes; the distributed control plane is not replaced, but rather augmented with a controller that modifies the best path decisions of the control plane by interacting with the control itself in a somewhat “native” way.
The Blog Series
This is the fifth in a series of blogs on the topic of the evolving enterprise WAN that is based on a survey that was completed in May 2016 by 110 network professionals. The previous blogs were:
The recent announcement that Facebook has developed an open-source, white-box optical transmission platform has led some pundits in the industry to predict the imminent death of traditional optical vendors. While there will certainly be an impact, that prediction is significantly premature.
In 2012, an executive who worked for one of the largest European service providers shared his dream with the attendees of Layer123’s first software-defined networking (SDN) & OpenFlow World Congress in Darmstadt, Germany. According to him, the reason for all the misery in carrier-land were not permanent price battles, flat-rates, and cut-throat competition; it was us, the vendors.
Openflow is the “father of software defined networks” in the minds of many engineers. To understand Openflow, however, you cannot just look at the protocol itself; rather you must go back to the beginning, in the mists of old networking.
This is the fourth in a series of blogs on the topic of the evolving enterprise WAN that is based on a survey that was completed in May 2016 by 110 network professionals.
At several recent trade shows, most notably the NFV and Carrier SDN Event, Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin showed a slide demonstrating the industry’s long history with IP and Optical integration. One of the images on that slide is an article in LightReading from April, 2000 entitled “IP over Glass, Who Cares?”, a very interesting article to re-read from a historical perspective to see just how far the industry has progressed in 16 ½ years.
Topics: Enhancing Network Efficiency
The alchemists of our age, scientists and engineers, have transformed chemical compounds like gallium-arsenide, indium-phosphide, and silicon into miniaturized lasers, light detectors, and thin tubes of glass that combine to communicate information over long distances at unimaginably fast speeds.
Topics: Enhancing Network Efficiency
The SDN Controller concept was originally developed as the intelligent centralized point of network control and programmability in an SDN environment. However, the name was very quickly adopted by several vendors who claimed that their traditional NMS was a “controller” because it allowed network-wide management and point-and-click provisioning of their equipment. As a result, for many people the line between an NMS and a Controller is blurred, resulting in confusion across the industry.
The last post on the topic of SDNs discussed BGP as a southbound interface to control policy. This form of SDN was once common in hyperscale data centers (though not as common as it once was). In our pursuit of out of the way (and hence interestingly different) forms of SDNs (hopefully this series will help you understand the scope and meaning of the concept of SDNs by examining both common and uncommon cases), it’s time to look at another unusual form of policy injection—Fibbing. In fibbing, a centralized controller engineers traffic flow in a link state network by interacting with the control plane directly, rather than interacting with the forwarding plane or the RIB.