The OpenDaylight Project (ODL) is a consortium of vendors working together on a wide-ranging open source software defined networking (SDN) project. There’s been plenty written about ODL, so I won’t elaborate on the project here. I’ll just mention that I believe ODL has the potential to greatly impact what SDN will look like as vendors continue to bring SDN products to market. ODL could become a baseline of sorts – a de facto standard that everyone will need to be compatible with. There’s a lot of “ifs” around that notion right now, but ODL is definitely a project worth watching.
Notable for ODL is the announcement that Neela Jacques has joined the project as the executive director. Neela was at VMware from 2006 – 2013, working through roles of Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Product Line Manager, Group Manager, and Director & Sr. Cloud Strategist according to his LinkedIn profile. In other words, he’s been buried in the world of virtualization for a long time now, both understanding customer needs and helping to establish product vision & direction. Working with the ODL project is a natural evolution for him.
In chatting with Neela on Monday, 11-November, I came away with the following impressions.
- He cares about moving technology forward in a way that people can use it. Anyone who’s been working in technology for a while understands why I bothered to point that out.
- He has a broader vision for SDN and network virtualization than just overlays, and believes ODL shares that broader vision.
- He wants end users to have the opportunity to react to running code, not just slideware.
- His role is as a facilitator, not a commander. As executive director, Neela will help make things happen – not force issues. For example, ODL governance will happen the same way that it always has. The Technical Steering Committee (chock-full of very accomplished & capable people) will continue to do what it does.
The practical upshot of all this? ODL continues to grow in stature and importance in the networking industry. As growth leads to maturity, ODL could become that SDN “standard” that network engineers have been clamoring for.
A “burst” is a quick post to raise awareness of a topic I found interesting.