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Welcome to the software-defined networking holy war
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of October 2012 Vol 3, No. 5
At the Open Networking Summit this month, we saw the emergence of a software-defined networking holy war. The battle will be fought by two camps. Each camp believes in software-defined networking, but one will go open source and the other will fight to hold ownership of the networking world by going proprietary. The open source camp is home to software-defined networking (SDN) vendors that believe in placing the brains of a network in centralized software, which will control underlying commodity hardware using the OpenFlow standard. In this camp, companies like NEC and Big Switch will build networks based on commodity hardware. They hope to see the emergence of an ecosystem of third party applications that run on top of OpenFlow controllers and bring about new kinds network services, including granular QoS and mobility management. The most radical player in this camp is Nicira, which offers virtual switches (vSwitches) that can be woven together in a unified fabric running over any physical network. While Nicira's switching ...
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News in this issue
Network virtualization tool FlowVisor boosts software defined networking by allowing easy slicing of physical networks into multiple logical pieces.
The software-defined networking battle boils down to one basic difference in strategy: open source or proprietary. Which side will win? Maybe neither one.