Open user group specs out SDN expectations

ONUG also forms use case working groups for WANs, overlays and services virtualization.

The Open Networking User Group (ONUG) this week established working groups to address what it sees as the biggest pain points in networking and issued a white paper describing the current challenges and future needs.

The group, which includes some of the biggest end user IT organizations in the industry, is looking to persuade network vendors to meet its requirements for greater multivendor interoperability and diversity, and relieve the bottleneck networking currently presents in moving IT operations forward. And ONUG will vote on the best remedy with its dollars.

“Companies are frustrated with the pace of change in the industry,” says Nick Lippis, co-chairman and co-founder of ONUG. “This is the first time IT executives are saying, ‘This is what we mean by open networking.’ They’re holding procurement until these issues are fixed.”

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ONUG established three use case working groups based on votes taken at its meeting last spring to determine the most pressing challenges or highest priorities IT faces in open networking: software-defined WAN (SD-WAN); Virtual Networks/Overlays; and Network Services Virtualization. The working groups will publish requirements designed to serve as vendor development guidelines, investment directions and Proof of Concepts (PoC) for users.

PoCs are expected to become production deployments in 2015, according to Lippis.

The co-chairs of the use base working groups, all ONUG board members, are:

Software-Defined WAN

  • Andrew Kulawiak, Bank of America
  • Aryo Kresnadi, FedEx
  • Pablo Espinosa, Gap, Inc.

Virtual Networks/Overlays

  • Harmen Van der Linde, Citigroup
  • Carlo Matos, Fidelity Investments

Network Services Virtualization

  • James Younan, UBS
  • Vesko Pehlivanov, Credit Suisse

The white paper details what ONUG members expect of open networking implementations. They include 15% to 30% short-term operational expense (OPEX) relief and a “new definition” of network OPEX that includes “real” vendor support cost rather than a fixed percentage of capital cost.

Other expectations are 25% to 75% capital expense relief; a “thriving” software ecosystem for rapid innovation; vendor-independent network design flexibility; and faster IT delivery and efficient business process.

The white paper also defines six architectural areas that will help achieve these goals. They are:

1) Device discovery, provisioning, and asset registration for physical and virtual devices.

2) Automated “no hands on keyboards” configuration and change management tools that align DevOps and NetOps.

3) A common controller and control protocol for both physical and virtual devices.

4) A baseline policy manager that communicates to the common controller for enforcement.

5) A mechanism for sharing network state and a unified network state database that collects, at a minimum, MAC and IP address forwarding tables automatically.

6) Integrated monitoring of overlays and underlays.

The next ONUG meeting is in late October at Credit Suisse in New York City. At that meeting, three more use case working groups are expected to be established from a list of six, Lippis says. They include Network State Collection, Correlation, and Analytics; Centralized Application Rules Management; Automated Dynamic Network Segmentation/Authentication; Traffic Monitoring/Visibility; Common Tools Across Net, Storage, Compute; and Shared Policy Management Framework.

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