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SDN blog roundup: IETF SDN activity, Cisco shoots the unicorn

In this week's SDN blog roundup, bloggers discuss IETF's new involvement with SDN standards and Cisco's take on the future of SDN.

IETF SDN: New standards and strategies emerge

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working groups are focusing on SDN solutions, especially in carrier and wide area networks, wrote Peter Moyer, a public network specialist at Brocade, who recently attended the IETF conference in Orlando.

On the Brocade blog, Moyer pointed out activity in IETF MPLS working groups, specifically noting that the L2VPN working group is developing a VXLAN-over-L2VPN Internet draft that will enable Layer 2 connectivity between overlay networks. Other IETF conference sessions worth noting included talks on Network Functions Virtualization (NVF).

Check out what else Moyer had to say about IETF and its recent SDN efforts.

Cisco shoots the SDN unicorn

Some might call it shooting the software-defined networking (SDN) unicorn, but in a recent Cisco blog, Omar Sultan, Cisco senior manager of emerging technologies, pointed out what he sees to be the realities of SDN -- among them, hardware is not disappearing anytime soon.

Sultan's blog is intended to keep the SDN debate moving after a recent Networking Field Day, where apparently engineer dreams were in stark contrast to what network hardware vendors see as reality.

According to Sultan's SDN reality: The limits and potential of OpenFlow are still unknown, and customers (other than cloud providers) don't necessarily want commodity hardware with tons of programming responsibility for basic of networking functions.

Read what else Sultan has to say about the future of SDN.

Why architects should care about SDN

On SDN Central, blogger Vijoy Pandey, CTO of Network OS at IBM System Networking, wrote that although solutions and applications architects may be quick to dismiss SDN, there's a value proposition in it for them -- programmability, Pandey said.

Pandey takes a look at an example of an application pattern and how SDN can act as a connectivity service. A key tenet of SDN, he wrote, is to enable open application programming interfaces to the underlying network infrastructure that business applications can use to query its capabilities, define the needs of the business application and monitor how the network is delivering on those needs.

Check out why else architects should consider SDN and how they can integrate it into their workflows.

Arista defines its SDN offerings

Recently, Arista Networks posted on the company blog a detailed description of its move into SDN. In the post, the company said it views SDN as scaling the control and data plane with programmatic and open interfaces in a useful way, and it doesn't see the technology as a replacement for existing network architectures and topographies.

The post goes on to outline the different services Arista plans on making available to its customers with the use of SDN, including software-defined cloud networking, EOS application programmatic interfaces, a new modular hardware driver architecture in the Quantam OVS plug-in and enhanced data plane programmability via direct, flow-based OpenFlow extensions.

Read what other SDN offerings Arista plans on making available to customers.

A use case for OpenFlow

On the Packet Pushers blog, Tamihiro Yuzawa, network engineer at Sakura Internet, outlined a use case for OpenFlow after he and his team attempted to upgrade a mitigation solution for a data center based in Japan.

With network engineers attempting to get packets to the right destination, Yuzawa wrote they should consider OpenFlow as an option. Depending on the situation, OpenFlow's merits could outweigh limitations, he wrote, and it requires less physician equipment to test a design since engineers can use Open vSwitch.

Read Yuzawa's detailed description of this OpenFlow use case.

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