If you’re a fan of networking, you are no doubt very excited by all of the recent excitement in the industry as of late. And there is no larger area of innovation in networking at the moment than Open Source networking. Two of the projects at the forefront of Open Source networking innovation are OpenStack Neutron and OpenDaylight. OpenStack Neutron is driving an API around networking for Infrastructure as a Service Clouds, and has been very successful at driving mindshare in this area.
This post by Brad Casemore is rather interesting. Specifically, I love this comment: When it comes to technologies and markets, our inherent optimism occasionally is thwarted by our intrinsic resistance to change. This is true everywhere, but especially true in technology. I’m not saying SDN won’t penetrate the enterprise market, and neither is Brad. It will take time, for sure. What will help SDN penetrate this market is the value built on top of it.
Just a note that over the weekend, after a few weeks of reviews, the Open vSwitch Kernel Code has moved upstream. Dave Miller pulled the code this weekend. Getting this upstream will be really helpful for OpenStack Quantum, as the default plugin for that code uses OVS. This is also great for distributions who want to include OVS, but have been hesitant because of it’s lack of existence in the upstream kernel.
With all the hoopla surrounding SDN, in all of it’s forms, I thought it would be interesting to look at a possible predecesor to OpenFlow, at least in spirit: The ForCES protocol. From RFC 5810, we have the following description of ForCES: Forwarding and Control Element Separation (ForCES) defines an architectural framework and associated protocols to standardize information exchange between the control plane and the forwarding plane in a ForCES Network Element (ForCES NE).
With all of the talk regarding Software Defined Networks (SDN), it’s easy to get lost trying to understand where the value will be. The general consensus here is that value will be built on top of SDN. SDN is, in essence, a building block. One interesting project providing value by using SDN as a building block is the RouteFlow project. The goal of the project, taken straight form the front page, is: RouteFlow is an open source project to provide virtualized IP routing services over OpenFlow enabled hardware.