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SDN in 2014: A year of non-stop action

Jim Duffy | Dec. 23, 2014
Review of dozens of SDN moves may hint at what’s in store for 2015.

Facebook unveils its homegrown "Wedge" SDN data center switch; Cisco acquires cloud orchestrator Tail-f, which gives it entrée into AT&T's SDN project; Speculation had it that Cisco CEO John Chambers would retire in the fall... it didn't happen; HP unveils an SDN switch with a midplane-free chassis, similar to Cisco's Nexus 9500; Market researchers find that SDN "hesitation" is slowing spending on routers and switches.

HP clarifies its views on open source SDNs; A Goldman Sachs report concludes that Cisco's ACI provides a 3X better total cost of ownership than VMware NSX; Cisco CEO Chambers dashes talk of Cisco acquiring cloud provider Rackspace; Cisco offers products to allow earlier generation Nexus switches to participate in a programmable ACI environment; SDN prompts more questions than answers at a Network World conference; Seven months after dismissing OpenDaylight and open source SDNs, HP raises its investment and participation in OpenDaylight; Cisco's Noiro Networks open source project is revealed as a contributor to a policy blueprint approved for the OpenStack Neutron networking component.

CloudGenix debuts as the latest SDN start-up targeting enterprise WANs; Michael Dell shares his views on SDNs after his namesake company allies with SDN companies Big Switch Networks and Cumulus Networks; Juniper appears ready to accept OpenDaylight after initially dismissing it when it develops a plugin to link its own OpenContrail SDN controller to the open source code; Cisco and VMware take the SDN battle to the policy arena; Cisco unveils the OpFlex policy protocol, largely viewed as an alternative to OpenFlow and other southbound protocols, for ACI and SDNs.

New certifications are expected as SDN takes hold in the networking industry; three years after pledging not to enter cloud services and compete with its customers, Cisco enters cloud services through its $1 billion Intercloud initiative; Dell unveils a fabric switch and SDN controller designed to scale and automate OpenStack clouds; Cisco rolls out new chassis configurations for its Nexus 9000 switches, the hardware underlay of its ACI programmable networking response to SDN; OpenDaylight commissioned study concludes that everyone wants open source SDNs; Cumulus garners additional support for its bare metal NOS; SDN preparation may require 11 steps; Goldman Sachs says there's nothing really new to SDNs; AT&T, NTT and others share SDN implementation experiences at Open Networking Summit 2014; Brocade becomes an early provider of OpenFlow 1.3; NEC looks to scale OpenFlow SDNs.

HP Networking head Bethany Mayer is tapped to lead the company's new Network Functions Virtualization effort; Juniper expands its carrier SDN portfolio with controller and management products at Mobile World Congress; Research finds that enterprise adoption of SDNs lags that of service providers due to several factors, primarily the criticality of the network itself; Big Switch explains why it is optimistic after rebooting its SDN business; OpenDaylight announces that its "Hydrogen" SDN release is now available, after a delay; SDN start-up Pluribus Networks ships its server-switch product.


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