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SDN meet sheds little light on Cisco 'Daylight'

Participants in open source controller consortium tight-lipped at Network World conference

By Jim Duffy on Wed, 02/13/13 - 9:09am.

Despite the promise of SDNs and the filled sessions at Network World's Open Network Exchange conference this week, lots of questions remain on the technological trend virtually everyone says will redefine networking.

First, what is this "Daylight" open source SDN controller Cisco, IBM, HP, NEC and Citrix are reportedly developing? SDNCentral broke the story last week that the companies are forming an open-source foundation, modeled after the Apache and OpenStack foundations, and plan to unveil the Daylight controller project around the time of the Open Networking Summit conference in April.

Other questions swirling around the Open Network Exchange conference were: is anyone working to standardize the northbound API between controllers, and orchestration systems and applications? Currently, those APIs are proprietary and/or various versions of RESTful or Java APIs.

Also, OpenFlow is the most popular southbound API between controllers and switches; but is there work underway to standardize a controller-to-controller API for redundancy and failover and scalability requirements? Currently, no there is not, participants agree.

And lastly, can SDN, with its promise of network virtualization, emulate the models of server and storage virtualization that came a generation before it? And can those models serve as successful schematics for how network virtualization should unfold?

"Virtualizing the network is going to be the next big thing,"