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BobMuglia

The 7 Truths of SDN

by BobMuglia on ‎01-16-2013 01:23 PM

Last Thursday, I published a blog entitled “The 7 Myths of SDN”.  Yesterday at Juniper’s Partner Conference in Las Vegas, I dispelled those myths at the beginning of a presentation called “Decoding SDN.”  For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the presentation, I thought it would be helpful to quickly outline those myths here.

 

Myth 1:  It’s only about data center networking

 

Truth:  SDN applies to all networking and network services -- from the enterprise data center & campus to service provider networks.

As organizations look to implement private cloud data centers, the static nature of networking presents acute challenges.  Because of this pain, there is a lot of focus on using SDN to enable networks to dynamically respond to cloud orchestration systems.

But SDN will apply much more broadly than that.  SDN makes sense in a large campus environment.  It also will help service providers as they evolve their networks to create more capability for their customers.  This is particularly true for edge networks – which is the place that service providers deliver value to customers, thus generating new revenue for the service provider.

 

Myth 2: It’s only about reducing CAPEX

 

Truth: OPEX reduction is more significant.

This is simple math.  Most organizations spend a lot more money on OPEX, particularly people costs, than they do on new equipment.  SDN will enable the automation of processes that are manual today, thus providing significant OPEX savings.

SDN will reduce capital costs as well but the bulk of the savings will come from automating process and thus reducing overall labor costs.

 

Myth 3: It’s only about software

 

Truth: SDN will fuel hardware innovation.

As more people do more things online, the demand for network capacity continues to grow at an astonishing pace.  The complexity and manual configuration of today’s networking software puts limits on how fast network capacity can grow.  SDN will help networks break free from the limits of today’s software.

You can think of network hardware as a software accelerator.  When you offload something into networking hardware, you can make it run an order of magnitude faster, or more.  As SDN frees networks from the limits of today’s software, the demand for faster and more capable hardware will increase.  This will provide an opportunity for the entire networking industry to further innovate in hardware. 

 

Myth 4: It’s only about centralization

 

Truth:  Considerable intelligence stays decentralized.

Centralization is a powerful concept and is one of the key principles of SDN.  Centralizing functions simplifies design and lowers operating costs.  However, networks are by nature decentralized. Remember, networking is all about moving data from one place to another – which is inherently distributed.

Even as some functions become centralized with SDN, it still makes sense to keep considerable intelligence decentralized.  That improves performance and makes the network more resilient to failures. 

The confusion about centralization with SDN reminds me of the discussions around 2000 about the Network Computer.  The idea of the Network Computer was that all of the applications moved to the center and end-user devices would be just dumb HTML terminals.  It never happened.  Instead, we have a whole new set of smartphones and tablets.  These devices rely heavily on central cloud processing – but they are also quite capable; they run applications and they do the work of providing the graphic user interface to present the data.

The same thing will happen to network devices with SDN.  Centralized functions will play a much more important role but the decentralized devices will remain intelligent and continue to provide lots of value.

 

Myth 5: It’s only about OpenFlow

 

Truth:  OpenFlow is just a protocol and probably not the most important one for SDN.

As is often the case with new trends, people have gotten confused in some ways.  One of these confusions is that SDN = OpenFlow.  SDN is a very broad and highly impactful way of building networks; OpenFlow is just a protocol – one of hundreds that are supported across networking systems.  OpenFlow will play a role in SDN, but it is not nearly as significant as some think it is.

At Juniper, we think the most important concept in SDN is “SDN Service Chaining.”  This provides a way to pull services out of network and security devices and chain them together in software.  SDN Service Chaining is an important architectural concept that can be broadly applied to the challenges of today’s networks.  OpenFlow can’t be used to build SDN Service chains, thus my view that OpenFlow is probably not the most important SDN protocol.  We will see new protocols (plus probably some extensions to existing protocols) emerge to support SDN Service Chaining. 

Juniper will support OpenFlow across our switches and routers in 2013.  OpenFlow is useful for some applications, but it is not a panacea and it certainly is not the same thing as SDN.

 

Myth 6: It’s going to happen immediately

 

Truth:  It will happen step-by-step.

I actually think it will have a more significant, long-term impact on networks than most people realize.  SDN is a major shift in the networking industry – from delivering all of the value in hardware systems to delivering much of that value in software.  This means packaging, licensing, and pricing that software separate from hardware systems.

But these things take time.  Customers have operating networks today; you can’t snap your fingers and magically transition to SDN.  You need to introduce SDN capabilities into existing networks in logical steps, typically deployed one at a time.

Juniper has defined a four-step roadmap for customers to deploy SDN within their networks; you’ll find more about those steps in a recent blog.

 

Myth 7: It’s going to take forever

 

Truth:  We will begin to see the impact of SDN in 2013.

It will take a number of years to see the full impact of SDN, but you can start right away.  The first step, Centralizing Management, is something that can begin now.  Networks today are frequently managed as individual devices; by installing a centralized management system, like Security Design – which is based on Juniper’s Junos Space management platform – you can begin to see the benefits of SDN right now. 

 

There’s been lots of rhetoric and confusion around SDN.  Now is the time to get past that confusion, to get clear on how SDN will transform business and begin to implement SDN within our networks.  Juniper has a clear plan to deliver SDN to the industry.  We’re the only company to clearly lay out the principles of SDN and the steps to get there.  Juniper is also the only company to define a comprehensive, usage-based software licensing and pricing model that enables you to purchase the SDN services you need, when you need them.

 

We’ve released quite a bit of material about SDN this week.  To learn more about the details of SDN, read my blog titled Decoding SDN.

 

To learn more about SDN Software Licensing, check out the Value Creation with SDN blog written by Brad Brooks, who runs marketing and business strategy for the Software Division at Juniper.

 

Or if you have some time, watch the Decoding SDN video which goes into a bit more detail.

 

Fun stuff!

Bob

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About the Author
  • Prior to Juniper acquisition, Ankur was the Founder and CEO of Contrail Systems Inc - a pioneer in standards based network virtualization and scale-out networking software. Ankur has over 15 years of experience in building world-class networking products and leading high performance teams. Prior to Contrail, Ankur served as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering at Aruba Networks, where he played critical roles in the rapid expansion of team, products, and global businesses. Before Aruba, Ankur helped drive Juniper’s initial entry into and expansion of the Ethernet Switching market. Ankur received his MSEE from Stanford University & BSEE from the University of Southern California.
  • Bob Dix currently serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs & Critical Infrastructure Protection for Juniper Networks. During his career, he has served in senior leadership roles in industry and government, including serving as Staff Director for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census during the 108th Congress. He represents Juniper on the Industry Executive Point of Contact for the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee ( NSTAC ), where he chaired the Cybersecurity Collaboration Task Force in 2009. He served as Chair of the Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council ( IT SCC ) from 2008 – 2010 and currently remains a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Dix was elected in May, 2011 as Chair of the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security ( PCIS ). He also serves on the National Security Task Force for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the AFCEA Cyber Security Committee and Chairs the Supply Chain Assurance Subcommittee for TechAmerica. Additionally, Dix has actively worked to insure and coordinate private sector participation and collaboration with the National Exercise Program, intended to test our nation’s preparedness and resiliency. He served as Chair of the National Private Sector Working Group for National Level Exercise 2011 and 2010. In 2007 and 2009, Dix was honored with a prestigious Federal 100 Award, and was recognized in March, 2010 as the recipient of the annual FCW Industry Eagle Award. Dix also served as a local government elected official in Northern Virginia for 12 years and in his spare time coaches AAU/Travel girls basketball.
  • Brad Brooks is Juniper Network's Chief Marketing Officer. He joined Juniper Networks in February of 2011 and in his current role he is responsible for positioning Juniper’s growth strategy, growing opportunities in new and existing markets, and increasing the global demand for Juniper’s solutions by creating and delivering remarkable customer experiences. Prior to this role, he held the position of Vice President of Business Strategy and Marketing for the Software Solutions Division where he was instrumental in the development of Juniper’s software defined networking (SDN) virtualization vision and strategy as well as the creation of the new and innovative Juniper Software Advantage licensing model. Before joining Juniper, Brooks was at Microsoft serving as Corporate Vice President for Windows Consumer Marketing and Product Management leading the $8 billion consumer business for the Windows client. In this role, he oversaw the launch of Windows 7, the most successful launch in Microsoft’s history. He moved into this role from his position as General Manager for the Windows Commercial Business Group where he was responsible for the group’s global enterprise business efforts, including the market introductions of Windows Vista and Windows software assurance and enterprise agreement marketing. Amid a declining enterprise market, Brooks developed multiple solutions sets for enterprise customers and grew the $900 million annual business to $3 billion in three years. He came to Microsoft in 2002 to work on the initial business development and marketing of Windows XP Media Center Edition. Brooks has also held several product management, product development, business development, marketing, sales and operations roles with Enron, Lucent Technologies, and AT&T. Brooks has a master's degree in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) and a bachelor's degree in business from the California State University.
  • Bruno Rijsman is VP of Architecture in the Security, Switching and Solutions Business Unit (S3BU). He has been with Juniper for most of the past 15 years working various areas including SDN, BGP, MPLS, broadband subscriber management, and Junos.
  • Calvin brings sixteen years of network and network security experience to his role of marketing solutions for data center switching and routing. His comprehensive understanding of network and industry issues is built through his previous front-line roles across technical, product, solution and marketing. A bay area lifer, he spends what's left of his spare time rooting for another Giants world series title. Follow him @chachi04
  • Chloe Jian Ma leads Cloud and SDN/NFV solution marketing at Juniper Networks, where she is responsible for driving awareness, thought leadership and adoption of Contrail Cloud Networking and Service Automation software.
  • Security strategist, architect, evangelist/prophet, former-CISO, brick layer, priest and short order cook…product manager, product marketeer, CTO, advisor, board member and SQUIRREL! My life? It’s like Blade Runner meets Beautiful Mind w/some Patrick Swayze Roadhouse violence mixed in
  • Harsh Singh is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Juniper Networks focused on Data Center networks. Harsh has over 15 years of experience in the networking industry. Prior to joining Juniper Networks, he worked at Cisco for 10 years, where he held roles in Product Management and Engineering. He holds a Bachelors degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering, Masters degree in Computer Science, and an MBA in Marketing.
  • Jerry oversees all aspects of OpenLab which serves as a catalyst to spark the development of new innovative software applications or solutions that leverage the power of SDN/network programmability and intelligence. OpenLab is unique within Juniper and with its polished facility, globally accessible lab, and educational programs – such as the SDN “hackathons,” it serves as a tool for customer, partners, and academia. Prior to this position, Jerry led the development, management and marketing of the company’s strategic partnerships for video/unified communications, optical networking, and content/media delivery. In addition to handling the day-to-day oversight of the partnerships, he established new cross-partner go-to-market processes to drive and manage joint field opportunities. Before joining Juniper, Jerry led the Lucent Technologies application hosting/service provider marketing organization. He has over 25 years of experience in the data networking field with a focus on strategic alliance development, marketing, and technical field support. Jerry possesses a BS degree in Computer Science from St. John’s University in New York. He is active as a Juniper ambassador within the technology and academic community which includes advisory board positions with both NJIT and Rutgers in New Jersey.
  • Jonathan Davidson is Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Security, Switching and Solutions Business Unit (S3BU). In this role, he is responsible for leading innovation, growth and product development in data center, campus, branch, and cloud. Davidson oversees the development of market-leading security and networking solutions and his team manages both the EX Series and QFX family of switches as well as the SRX line of security devices. Davidson joined Juniper in 2010 as Vice President, Product Line Management for the Edge and Aggregation Business Unit where he was responsible for the product lifecycle management, strategy, implementation, solutions and go-to-market activity for a range of leading edge routing product families, such as the E, M and MX Series. Prior to joining Juniper, Davidson had a 15-year career in various leadership positions at Cisco. He served as Director of Product Management at Cisco Systems where he focused on service provider solutions and led the enterprise routing product management team and service provider Layer 4 through Layer 7 services team. During his time at Cisco, he co-authored the best-selling books Voice over IP Fundamentals and Deploying Voice over IP. He also served as Director, Service Provider Solution Engineering. Davidson has spoken at leading industry events such as Interop and has held certification as Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert #2560. He is active on social media, and frequently shares his observations about the industry on his twitter account @jonathandavidsn and blogs.
  • 20 years technology experience in sales, product management and marketing. 15 in security. Living the good guys versus bad guys fight every day.
  • Mike Marcellin is Senior Vice President of Strategy and Marketing. In this role, he leads business strategy and marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading portfolio of high-performance routing, switching and data center fabric products. Additionally, his team is responsible for go-to-market planning, sales and customer education and information experience, as well as global competitive analysis. Prior to joining Juniper in 2010, Marcellin served as Vice President of Global Managed Solutions for Verizon, where he oversaw product development and marketing of its managed IP networking, hosting, security and IT solutions for businesses around the world. He also served as Vice President of Global Product Marketing for Verizon Business, executive director of Verizon Business’ IP and Ethernet portfolio as well as leading the company’s eCRM marketing division. Marcellin began his career with MCI in 1994. Marcellin is Chairman of the CMO Board for Telecommunications Industry Association and a Board Member of US Ignite, an NSF-sponsored initiative. He was a Rodman Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor of science degree with distinction in systems engineering. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Paul Obsitnik is Vice President of Service Provider Marketing for Juniper Networks Platform Systems Division (PSD), responsible for the marketing of Juniper’s portfolio of high performance routing, switching, and data center fabric products to Service Providers globally. Paul's team is responsible for marketing strategy, product marketing, go-to-market planning, and competitive analysis worldwide for the Service Provider segment. Obsitnik has extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development positions with a proven track record in creating technology markets. He has served in senior marketing and sales management positions at several companies including BridgeWave Communications, ONI Systems, NorthPoint Communications and 3Com. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Obsitnik is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Rami Rahim is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors at Juniper Networks. Rahim will continue to lead the Juniper Development and Innovation (JDI), responsible for driving strategy, development, and business growth for Juniper's entire portfolio including routing, switching, and security, as well as for the ongoing evolution of silicon technology and the Junos operating system. As a technologist, Rahim has deep roots in Juniper’s development organization where he has applied his engineering acumen to the design and development of Juniper’s service provider and enterprise products. Rahim began his Juniper career in early 1997, as employee #32, and worked as an engineer on Juniper’s first product, the M40 core router. Rahim’s roles of increasing responsibility have grown over the years, from Vice President of the Edge and Aggregation Business Unit (EABU), to Senior Vice President/General Manager of EABU, followed by Executive Vice President/General Manager of Platform Systems Division for routing and switching, to his most recent role as Executive Vice President and General Manager of JDI, overseeing Juniper’s entire product and technology portfolio. Rahim holds 17 US Patents in networking technologies and is a member of IEEE. As a networking industry spokesperson, Rahim’s insights have been featured in publications such as Enterprise Networking Planet and Network World. Rahim shares his industry observations via Twitter @ramirahim and his Juniper blogs. Rahim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He completed an intensive 6-week executive program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
  • Stephen Liu is Senior Director of Product Marketing for Juniper Networks. In this role, he leads product marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading service provider portfolio of high-performance routing and switching products. These products include Juniper PTX Series, T Series, MX Series, and ACX Series platforms along with software and security. Prior to joining Juniper in 2013, Stephen served as Director of Service Provider Marketing at Cisco Systems. In that role, he led product and solution marketing worldwide for the service provider routing, switching, optical, and software portfolio. Products included NCS, CRS, ASR, and ONS platforms. Stephen attended the University of California, San Diego, where he received a bachelor’s of science degree electrical engineering – communication systems. Hobbies include restoring old Volkswagens and coaching competitive youth soccer. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
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