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SDN blogs: Overlay networks can be scaled

In this week's SDN blogs, experts talk about the scalability of overlay networks and ask questions about SD WAN, and an open source SDN website is launched.

In a recent post on his IPSpace blog, Ivan Pepelnjak addressed the common misconception that forwarding performance is a major scalability concern of virtual overlay networks. Throughout his post, he referenced both Network Field Day videos and a recent Webinar he participated in.

"The crucial part of my argument was the difference between performance (how fast can you do something in software versus hardware) and scalability (how large can something grow). That nuance somehow got lost in the translation," he said.

Pepelnjak added that if a virtual switch is implemented properly, it will remain almost infinitely scalable from a forwarding performance standpoint. On the other hand, he noted that suboptimal implementations might face scalability challenges.

Read more here about overlay networks and their scalability.

ONF launches open source website

Open Networking Foundation (ONF) recently launched the website OpenSourceSDN.org, a new open source software community and code repository. In a post on the site's blog, Stu Bailey, chair of the ONF software leadership council, introduced the site and explained why an online community like this is necessary.

He said it's finally time to live up to all the hype surrounding SDN and to take the SDN movement to the next level.

"We have made progress, but SDN is still too challenging for mainstream network operators who don't have 20 hours a week to make things work," he explained. "We need integrated solutions, stacks of software that can be downloaded and deployed, and helpful open source SDN community gurus to help folks out (think 'SDN Stack Overflow')."

Read the full entry here and see how else Bailey feels the site will benefit the SDN community.

Unanswered questions regarding SD WAN

There's an increasing amount of software-defined WAN technology in the space today, and yet a large number of uncertainties remain. On his blog, network architect Ethan Banks shared 13 key questions regarding SD WAN, ranging from traffic and tunnels to encryption and encapsulation.

One question he posed is: How does the SD WAN infrastructure track tunnel availability, and how quickly does the controller react when a tunnel is down?

Banks said that in listening to vendor briefings, he hasn't found consistent solutions addressing these concerns. That could herald problems for anyone implementing software-defined WAN technology now or in the future.

Read the full list of Banks' questions here and join the discussion in the comment section.

This was last published in February 2015

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