“Everybody in the industry knew we had to find a better way to manage networks,” says Schenker. Many organizations were working on SDN and now is the right time to bring them together.
Service providers want to buy technology that uses this approach so they can manage their networks better, he said, while hardware and software companies want well-defined standards they can build to.
Some capabilities are already in software from some manufacturers, including the OpenFlow vSwitch in Citrix’s Xen hypervisor.
Sunil Potti, Citrix’s vice-president of product marketing for cloud and networking, said it would allow a network controller to control both physical and virtual networking devices.
“OpenFlow enables this next generation architecture of networking which separates the control logic from the data plane,” he said. “That’s an architectural game-changer for the network … Just like servers got revolutionized through virtualization, and storage is in that process, the network has been the last to do so. OpenFlow is not the be all and end all, but it’s the first of major steps of networking that’s going to be revolutionlized.”