SDN blogs: Why Cisco OpFlex isn't an OpenFlow killer

SDN bloggers take a look at security's role in the software-defined data center and whether or not Cisco OpFlex is an OpenFlow killer.

Cisco OpFlex, the OpenFlow killer? Not really.

On his Silicon Loons blog, cloud computing architect Kyle Mestery examines the impact of Cisco's OpFlex on OpenFlow. He writes that it's clear that Cisco intends to make OpFlex an open standard to be used among partners in the vendor, provider and open source communities.

Mestery links to a NetworkWorld article and explains why the new protocol won't mean an end to OpenFlow -- like many think. Instead, OpFlex is meant to be embedded in the device or host via the policy agent. This could be a virtual switch, like Open vSwitch, or any other element that can enforce policy. Mestery reiterates that the key pieces of OpFlex are the policy authority and the policy agent, which doesn't replace the programmability aspects of OpenFlow. This, Mestery says, is the key piece many people have missed.

Read Mestery's post exploring OpFlex.

Implementations vs. fundamentals: which is right to further networking education?

On his Keeping it Classless blog, Matt Oswalt examines two trends in continuing education: engineers focusing on one specific area of technology and forgoing fundamentals, or engineers choosing to stay up to date with implementation knowledge and continuing to explore fundamentals of other topic areas.

The trend in focusing on specifics is the result of young engineers beginning their education with learning fundamentals but soon being faced with the need to learn specific implementations of technology.

This implementation-specific knowledge is inevitably linked to vendor courses. As the industry continues to shift toward the use of SDN, which requires more programming knowledge, Oswalt writes engineers shouldn't get caught up in trend-based implementations, like Python. Instead, they should continue to find a balance between staying up on current implementations and seeking out new fundamentals.

Take a look at Oswalt's full blog post exploring implementations versus networking fundamentals.

OpenDaylight looks ahead to year two

As OpenDaylight turns two, executive director Neela Jacques writes about the potential SDN has in the years to come and the role OpenDaylight will play in furthering the emerging technology. He outlines a number of ways SDN can be employed, from bettering Netflix, to streamlining healthcare, to developing adaptive learning environments.

OpenDaylight and its members will continue finding ways to support a wide range of hardware and protocols. He discusses centralized intelligence, overlays, managing elephant flows and improving performance and interoperability testing. Key work remains to be done with OpenStack and the ONF in standardizing northbound interfaces. Although this sounds daunting, Jacques is looking forward to what's ahead and outlined a number of new initiatives OpenDaylight is undertaking, including a summer internship program and the creation of the OpenDaylight User Group, designed for end users looking to give input.

Check out Jacques' break down of what's ahead for SDN as a whole and the OpenDaylight Project.

Security and the software-defined data center

On his Virtualized Geek blog, IT management consultant Keith Townsend explores whether security is the facilitator for the software-defined data center (SDDC). Townsend explains the issues associated with the current methods of protecting the data center network and then he echoes VMWare CTO Martin Casado's  theory of the 'goldilocks zone.'

VMware believes the SDDC is the answer to current security challenges. Townsend takes the time to break down VMware's approach, which includes emphasis on the hypervisor. He adds, though, that this theory isn't the utopia of security; there are still issues that could occur with focusing on the hypervisor, like the increase in attack vectors when adding more services to the kernel.

Take a look at Townsend's post, outlining VMware's Goldilocks theory and why the company's focus on the hypervisor could make the SDDC a reality.

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