Friday, July 27, 2012

The Cloudcast - Eps.47 - SDN, OpenFlow and Network Virtualization

Description: Brian and Nick Weaver talk with Kyle Forster (@bigswitchnews), Co-Founder of Big Switch Networks, about the evolution of Software Defined Networks (SDN), OpenFlow and the evolution of programmable networks.
Kyle Forster of Big Switch Networks at OpenFlow Symposium from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Topic 1 - The SDN market got a little bit interesting this week, but before we get into that, let’s start with some basics about Big Switch’s view on SDN. (OpenFlow, VXLAN, NVGRE, STT, Open vSwitch, etc..)

Topic 2 - There seem to be two approaches that are discussed with SDN, (1) centralized controller and SDN-capable hardware, (2) centralized controller and SDN-capable edge services in the Hypervisor or vSwitch. Are those just two sides of the same coin and worth discussing, or is there a better way to think about SDN architecture?

  • When might it make sense to consider SDN architectures?
  • Where does existing hardware fit into that equation? What does it still do?
  • How are you seeing SDN’s interconnecting into existing networks?
  • What about L4-7 services?

Topic 3 - Who are the SDN developers vs. SDN operators, and what problems are those types of people trying to solve for their businesses today?

Topic 4 - In a recent interview you talked about the level of activity around the Floodlight project (open-source, OpenFlow Controller). Can you give us a glimpse into some of the interesting applications people are developing, and what the development frameworks look like?

Topic 5 - Big Switch is still in (semi) stealth-mode, but with the release of Floodlight, you tried to establish yourself as the open-source alternative for SDN. With that approach, how do you balance the need to foster a new developer community with the challenge of finding early-adopter customers with problems that only SDNs can solve?

Topic 6 - With the recent Nicira acquisition, and Cisco’s investment in Insieme, there is obviously a huge spotlight placed on SDN companies like Big Switch to see how other large companies (Cisco, Oracle, IBM, Dell, HP) react. You’ve been on the other side of this from your days with Mike Volpi at Cisco. What’s going on in both those leadership teams, as well as some strategy changes that Big Switch might consider?

Topic 7 - There is plenty of discussion about the edge and the end devices being virtual, physical, and commodity. How do you see the controller implementations evolving? How does NoSQL, DevOps, and other newer concepts being implemented in cloud affect controller design?

Topic 8 - So Google announced their Google Fiber project today in Kansas City. How much of the SDN-based work Google has done internally do you think has helped shaped this project?