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SDN blogs: Who cares about hardware in SDN and network virtualization?

In this week's SDN blog roundup, bloggers discuss control plane protocols with OpenFlow, the business benefits of SDN and network virtualization.

Windows talks SDN and network virtualization

On the Windows Server Blog, the team details how Microsoft's virtualization software dynamically manages and provisions networks so that networks can keep up with dynamic server virtualization workloads in the data center.

Network virtualization and its ability to enable secure multi-tenancy are at the root of the vast Windows Azure cloud, the blog explains. The goal of the Windows network virtualization strategy is to "provision and manage virtual networks at scale." That way, users can "define and control virtual network policies centrally and link them to [their] apps or workloads" dynamically, the blog explains. Microsoft also touts its SDN gateways that enable network engineers to move workloads across data center clouds and network domains.

Read more about Windows' approach to SDN and the data center.

HP discusses SDN's business benefits

On Silicon Angle, author Alina Popescu covers conversations regarding SDN and its business benefits with Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager at HP Networking. According to the post, HP has an SDN-enabled bring your own device solution that controls where users can go and what they can access. The company also uses its SDN security application to enable security down to the switch board.

According to Mayer, SDN is all about creating networks that respond to the application, whether it's premise-based or in the cloud. The only way for apps to be deployed quickly, Mayer said, is to "change the paradigm on that network," which is what HP is aiming for with SDN.

Check out additional videos with Mayer and more from Popescu on HP's approach to SDN's business benefits.

Experts take to Twitter to talk SDN and network virtualization

Network architect Jason Edelman documents a Twitter square-off between him and Ethereal Mind blogger Greg Ferro around the need for hardware in differentiating network virtualization and SDN.

On Twitter, Ferro claims that if Cisco delivers hardware as part of its Insieme release, it would only indicate a failure in addressing SDN. Edelman, on the other hand, believes providing hardware at the base of a network virtualization solution better enables integration and automation.

OpenFlow and control plane protocols

On his ipSpace blog, author Ivan Pepelnjak writes about how to implement control plane protocols with OpenFlow. He addresses implementing a hybrid mode of OpenFlow, which typically won't result in better forwarding behavior. Instead, he writes, in an OpenFlow-only network, the switches have no standalone control plane logic, leaving the OpenFlow controller to implement the control plane and control plane protocols. This is the same approach Google took with its OpenFlow deployment, Pepelnjak notes.

In conclusion, Pepelnjak writes that an OpenFlow protocol allows you to implement any control plane protocol you want. He warns that if someone tries to sell software that's supposed to control your physical switches but doesn't support the typical set of protocols, think twice.

View more of Pepelnjak's advice on implementing control plane protocols with OpenFlow.

How to get your organization ready for SDN

In part two of a series on the Gigaom blog, author Mark Leary writes about how to prepare an organization for SDN. With SDN, he writes, the network advances ahead of the demands associated with connected and resources, while IT is "relieved of pressure" across multiple fronts, since the network can be turned to need.

Leary outlines some tips for preparing for SDN and includes that an organization should stay ahead of the "software management challenge" to be successful. Additionally, the SDN solution an organization opts for will immediately be compared to the pre-SDN environment, so it's critical that deployment delivers positive results from Day 1.

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