A couple of pieces I wrote for TechTarget were published on 8-January-2014. Another one of those moments where I barely remember the writing the contet, but poof! It appears! I think they might have been recycled material I wrote for a larger report. That’s the funny about about writing for media company. You write it. They own & control it. I’ve found that my content shows up in unexpected ways, and I usually find out about it via Twitter.
TechTarget is a login-style site, so they’ll probably want something from you before you can read these pieces if you’ve never logged into TechTarget before.
SDN vendors don’t know what you want in most cases, so they are chasing a moving target, hoping to hit an elusive bulls eye. While the buzz around SDN is tremendous, most shops don’t quite know why (or even if) they need SDN. Therefore, a potential SDN customer needs to go into vendor discussions armed with specifics. That will force the vendor to respond in kind — with specifics. From there, a customer can begin to explore the vendor’s platform in detail and understand just how it will change their network.
SDN is a new technology with an array of offerings and possible use cases, so shopping for an SDN product suite is a challenging task.
Buyers must start by assessing what each SDN vendor offers — and this can vary radically. Some SDN vendors offer a traditional approach to SDN that separates data and control planes from the physical network and uses a centralized controller to direct forwarding paths. Others offer software overlays with hypervisors or virtual switches that control the virtual network. Still, others are not proposing SDN at all, but are touting virtual appliances that could play a role in network programmability.
While all of these technologies can help move your network into the software-defined realm, it is key that the vendor describes its SDN vision in detail and that users understand how these strategies fit into their existing architectures, as well as whether they meet their organization’s business needs.