OpenDaylight Summit Will Highlight Progress on SDN Projects

By Scot Petersen  |  Posted 2015-07-26 Print this article Print
OpenDaylight Summit

A fourth player, Open Network Operating System (ONOS), an SDN controller that is the closest to OpenDaylight in functionality, will release its fourth iteration, "Drake" (named after the bird), at the end of August.

The ONF, which shepherds the OpenFlow protocol that gave rise to SDN, is trying to be a neutral party that attempts to keep everybody working together as best as possible, according networking specialists involved in the process.

"Atrium is the ONF's attempt to broaden out OpenFlow, very complementary to OpenDaylight and ONOS," said Shamus McGillicuddy, senior analyst for network management at Enterprise Management Associates. "It's showing how you can tie together open-source software into a specific stack that services a use case."

ONOS and OpenDaylight will eventually be viable SDN components, but will settle into specific environments and use cases. Whereas ONOS is targeting service providers, OpenDaylight will likely find a home in the enterprise data center.

OpenDaylight has an architecture "that is certainly broader, and we are looking to cover many more use cases than ONOS is," Robb said. "Given that, it will take longer for us to get there. ONOS will get there faster. We will get there a little bit behind them, but we will be able to do more when we do."

Regardless of the individual fates of OpenDaylight, ONOS or OPNFV, the future and benefits of SDN are clear: programmability of network functions via software rather than manual hardware configurations.

This will enable less proprietary code residing on expensive, on-premises networking gear, which means the gear itself can be off-the-shelf and remotely controlled via programmable policies, which will make it cheaper for vendors and end customers.

AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens made that point in an earnings call last week. He sees much less capital spending on networking hardware in the enterprise, in the service provider data center and in homes. "I think there [are] real … opportunities that are happening on a software-defined basis to bring investment down," Stephens said.

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.


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