Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Containers Expo Blog

SDN Journal: Blog Feed Post

What's the Killer App for Software Defined Networking?

Some basic questions about SDN technology

Long, long ago, in a Data Center far, far away, I used to consider myself reasonably knowledgeable in the ways of networking. Somewhere on a dusty bookshelf or the bottom of a packing box is a remind that I once held Cisco CCIE #3077. And I was even once semi-knowledgeable about a significant transition from a function that was hardware-centric to one that led a revolution to software-centric productivity.



But even as I spend more time trying to grasp  Software Defined Networking  (SDN), talking with some of the smartest people in the industry, I find myself still left with some very basic questions that I haven't seen answered yet. So I'm just going to make a list, with the hope that those more in the know might provide answers via links or comments in this blog. The Packet Pushers podcast touched on some of these, but I don't believe answers emerged.

Plenty has been written about the potential economic impacts (both to customers and vendors/suppliers) of more open networking equipment. Considering the size of the market for networking hardware ($50B+) and the incumbent vendors involved, I can understand the focus. But it seems strange (to me at least) that we have so many open technology questions.

I'm going to try and group these into categories that span from greenfield environments to large legacy environments, so I can better understand how to get from here to there.

Use-Cases or Killer Apps

When Software-Defined Telephony (a.k.a. - VoIP / IP PBX) first came out, the immediate killer-app was Toll-Bypass, significantly reducing long-distance changes. Simplified MACs (Moves/Adds/Changes) was another OPEX selling point. Even reduced cabling to desktops was an ROI point of consideration. The future promised new IP-based collaboration apps, but that took 5+ years to materialize.

When server virtualization emerged, if offered the ability to significantly reduce the cost of under utilized servers (rack space, network ports, power, etc.). It was the foundation of future IT-as-a-Service evolutions (of "Private Cloud / Hybrid Cloud"), but it offered ROI of just a few months in many cases.

So what's the initial, simple to understand and broadly applicable killer-app for SDN?

More Stories By Brian Gracely

A 20 year technology veteran, Brian Gracely is VP of product management at Virtustream. He holds a CCIE #3077 and an MBA from Wake Forest University.

Throughout his career Brian has led Cisco, NetApp, EMC and Virtustream into emerging markets and through technology transitions. An active participant in the virtualization and cloud computing communities, his industry viewpoints and writing can also be found on Twitter @bgracely, on his blog Clouds of Change and his podcast The Cloudcast (.net). He is a VMware vExpert and was named a "Top 100" Cloud Computing blogger by Cloud Computing Journal.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes. We are offering early bird savings on all ticket types where you can save significant amount of money by purchasing your conference tickets today.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.
Eric Taylor, a former hacker, reveals what he's learned about cybersecurity. Taylor's life as a hacker began when he was just 12 years old and playing video games at home. Russian hackers are notorious for their hacking skills, but one American says he hacked a Russian cyber gang at just 15 years old. The government eventually caught up with Taylor and he pleaded guilty to posting the personal information on the internet, among other charges. Eric Taylor, who went by the nickname Cosmo the God, also posted personal information of celebrities and government officials, including Michelle Obama, former CIA director John Brennan, Kim Kardashian and Tiger Woods. Taylor recently became an advisor to cybersecurity start-up Path which helps companies make sure their websites are properly loading around the globe.
ClaySys Technologies is one of the leading application platform products in the ‘No-code' or ‘Metadata Driven' software business application development space. The company was founded to create a modern technology platform that addressed the core pain points related to the traditional software application development architecture. The founding team of ClaySys Technologies come from a legacy of creating and developing line of business software applications for large enterprise clients around the world.