In 2013, SDN went from concept to reality -- with a wide range of vendors launching products and users beginning to evaluate and implement test beds.
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If there was one group of folks who had the most to say about the new technology, it was bloggers, who covered SDN, network virtualization and network functions virtualization through reviews, personal opinions, predictions and even a few tutorials. Check out our picks for the ten SDN blogs -- in no particular order -- that made a splash in 2013.
1. Jason Edelman of Jason Edelman's Blog.
Jason Edelman, CCIE 15394, has had his eye on the SDN space since 2010. Formerly of Cisco and now a senior solutions architect at a national solutions provider, Edelman brings a real-world view of SDN to his writing. His posts include a critical look at topics such as the future of the network engineer in programmable networks, the emergence of OpenFlow and SDN, and how network virtualization differs from SDN. Edelman has also written about the intersection of OpenFlow and Cisco's vPath, as well as OpenFlow and CAPWAP.
2. Greg Ferro of Ethereal Mind and Packet Pushers.
Greg Ferro is a freelance network architect and senior engineer, but in his spare time, Ferro founded both the Packet Pushers audio program and his personal blog Ethereal Mind. In addition to publishing technical podcasts on the Packet Pushers' site, Ferro takes to Ethereal Mind to use his 20 years of IT experience to shed some light on SDN and network virtualization. Ferro's provides critical analysis of VMWare NSX and Cisco ACI. Ferro also includes tutorials on topics such as integrating overlay networking and physical network and other SDN use cases.
3. Ethan Banks of The Peering Introvert and Packet Pushers.
Ethan Banks is the co-founder of Packet Pushers, which, since 2010, has expanded to include three separate channels and a host of networking bloggers. On his personal site, Banks, CCIE 20655, takes his experiences as a network architect by day and translates them into technical posts, focusing on tutorials, book reviews and workplace tips for engineers. His focus on SDN includes in-depth vendor coverage and commentary.
4. Brent Salisbury of NetworkStatic.
Network architect Brent Salisbury doesn't shy away from the technicalities of SDN on his Network Static site. Salisbury is focused on disruptive technologies, writing that he believes one of the main tenants of computing is doing more with less. Salisbury features a number of tutorials on his site, looking mainly at OpenStack, OpenFlow, Open vSwitch and OpenDaylight. He also pulls from his experiences as a developer on the OpenDaylight project to enhance his posts.
5. Mike Bushong of the Plexxi company blog.
Mike Bushong, Plexxi's vice president of marketing, takes to the company blog regularly to break down SDN as it relates to orchestration, open source, integration and even Twitter. Bushong doesn't shy away from the technical, writing informative posts on the future of IT infrastructures, for example, while also taking a critical eye to other vendor solutions on the market, such as Cisco Insieme and Arista. Bushong blogs on a regular basis and rounds out his SDN and networking focus with occasional posts on personal development and workplace tips.
6. Ivan Pepelnjak of IP Space.
Ivan Pepelnjak, chief technology officer at NIL Data Communications, blogs regularly on his IP Space site, tackling a range of issues as they relate to SDN. Pepelnjak has been known to address Twitter conversations and peer questions on his site, writing about timely topics such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching in VMware NSX and OpenFlow scalability. Pepelnjak also offers up interesting personal perspectives on SDN and NFV, with one post even noting the existence of SDN back in 1993 and another about how the media continues to misconstrue OpenFlow.
7. Teren Bryson of packetqueue.net.
Packetqueue.net's Tereson Bryson has a specific reason for blogging -- ideally, he hopes to share his experience as both a network engineer and a CIO with readers. Bryson writes that although he's still on a journey himself -- working on his CCIE certification -- his 17 years of experience working within computer programming and networking offers plenty of perspective to readers. Bryson posts regularly on networking and SDN, writing most recently about software programming and its role in networking.
8. Nick Buraglio of The Forwarding Plane.
Although Lead Network Engineer Nick Buraglio refers to his blog as a personal journal, his posts have garnered attention for giving insight into areas such as the data center networking, IPv6, Unix and, of course, SDN. Buraglio blogs with a mix of personal opinions, how-tos, and self-named ramblings, which include thoughts on the importance of learning IPv6 and why going with a single vendor could be doing you a disservice. He breaks down SDN topics such as Open vSwitch and OpenDaylight, as well as arguments as to why an OpenFlow hybrid approach is most certainly the way to go.
9. Matt Oswalt of Keeping It Classless.
Although Matt Oswalt's main focus is on the data center, the Keeping It Classes blogger says his interests extend to storage, virtualization and the cloud. Oswalt describes his blogging endeavor as a chance for him to expand on his learning while sharing with others. In the SDN space, Oswalt explores a myriad of topics, including specific SDN use cases. He's also broken down REST application programming interfaces within SDN programming. Oswalt isn't afraid to discuss vendor solutions, such as Cisco ACI and VMware, while pulling opinions from Twitter and fellow bloggers to expand on his points.
10. Tom Nolle of CIMI Corp.'s public blog.
CIMI President Tom Nolle has lead the industry in blogging about network functions virtualization, dedicating posts to the benefits of both SDN and NFV and creating service models for the technologies. Nolle covers vendor news and offers commentary, as well as analyzes the SDN marketplace by discussing what enterprises need from the technology, as well as assessing SDN risks.