SANTA CLARA -- SDN can’t be done on an island, according to Nuage Networks.
If an enterprise is doing a software-defined datacenter, it must also do a software-defined WAN to ensure consistent policy across the IT infrastructure, said Sunil Khandekar, Nuage CEO and co-founder.
Khandekar, citing research from Gartner, says Nuage is the No. 3 SDN vendor in the industry behind Cisco and VMware. The company has 50 production customers and 100 trials for its Virtualized Services Platform and Virtualized Network Services products.
Enterprises are adopting SDN for business agility, Khandekar says. Public and private clouds have changed the way applications are consumed, and the DevOps business operations model is imperative to attain that agility, he says.
And cloud and DevOps can’t be implemented without SDN, Khandekar claims.
One reason SDDC and SD WAN are inseparable is cloud bursting. If enterprises are passing workloads between private and public clouds, they’ll want the same policy to move with that workload as it leaves the data center and enters the WAN.
But the WAN may have some catching up to do if it’s to achieve software-defined parity with the data center.
“The branch router has been stuck in the past,” Khandekar said. “It’s 20-year-old technology and vertically integrated.”
To bring it in to the 21st century and prepare it for software definition, Khandekar proposes a general purpose x86 hardware appliance running a Linux iptables networking stack, with separate control and management planes.
He says this “OpenCPE” router could result in 10x faster turn up with an operational cost reduction of over 50%.
And it’s a vital element of an overall SDN that “allows IT to be aligned to the business needs,” Khandekar says.
But it will take time to achieve that alignment. It takes three to four budget cycles for an enterprise to deploy an SDN after spending $75,000 to $200,000 on SDN pilots, says Kyle Forster, co-founder of SDN pioneer Big Switch Networks.
Forster spoke in the same ONS session as Khandekar.
“Customer win announcements are the currency” in the SDN economy, Forster said, adding that SDN has only reached 1/10 of its market potential.