I have been to Brocade’s headquarters a couple of times for Networking Field Day events. With both visits, I have found their discussions about software defined networking very engaging. Moreover, their involvement in various working groups and organizations that are working to push these technologies forward seems demonstrate their commitment leading the industry in this regard. There is one discussion that I have listened to several times. With each pass through the content, I have picked up additional tidbits of insight and information.
This particular presentation was led by David Meyer and titled “Macro Trends in Networking and the Role of SDN”. In his talk, Meyer covered SDN from a more than just a technical perspective. This included a brief history lessons of networking and challenges, as well as some of the challenges around currently proposed solution. This short yet informative discussion is shown below and is recommended for anyone who is interested in the future direction of our industry.
Topics Covered (no particular order)
- History Of Networking
- Robustnesses, Fragility and Complexity
- Current Challenges
- Software Defined Networking (SDN)
- Openflow History
- Challenges of New Approaches
- Constraints that Deconstrain
- Centralized vs. Logical Centralization (and associated challenges)
- Future Trends
My take on this discussion, as well as other conversations I’ve been part of with Brocade, is that they truly are focused on leading the way. While some vendors seem to be dipping their toes in the SDN water and waiting to see what direction the market is going, Brocade seems to be listening, connecting to the appropriate communities, and making a real attempt to understand the needs of modern networks. I think this is a great long term strategy for a company that needs to gain market share in the networking industry. With today’s convergence strategies, I believe Brocade realizes they have a narrow window of opportunity to move their FC customers to a Brocade Ethernet Network. Fortunately, I think they are approaching this in a way that will ensure their longevity in key areas of many networks.
All Brocade Networking Field Day 5 Presentations
- Mike Schiff Welcomes Networking Field Day 5 to Brocade
- Brocade OpenFlow and ONF Update with Curt Beckmann
- Brocade MLXe Router and OpenFlow Hybrid Port Mode
- Brocade Vyatta and Software Networking
- David Meyer on Macro Trends in Networking and the Role of SDN
- The “robust yet fragile” nature of the Internet by John Doyle and several others
- Martìn Casado’s Page at Stanford
Disclaimer: Brocade was a sponsor for Networking Field Day 5. As a result, their sponsorship covered a portion of the cost of my travel and expenses associated with my attendance to this event. This article itself was written without any restrictions or requirement to do so. My opinions on this product are my own and are accurately reflected.