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It goes without saying that cloud computing has dramatically reshaped the information technology services landscape. Virtualization is unleashing the power of commodity-based technology and open source communities are building new applications and services at an astonishing rate, but networking has lagged behind compute and storage in virtualization and automation. We’ve become accustomed to specialized networking silicon, complex operating systems and highly distributed control planes. For the most part, we’ve accepted the model along with its high costs.
All that is changing! New protocols such as OpenFlow are freeing the network control plane from proprietary operating systems and hardware platforms. We are entering a new era where customers control the features – and release schedules – of new, open networking applications that address the needs of the mega-scale world.
A lot of work is required to realize the potential of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), where we can enjoy the benefits derived from “software automating software.” This talk will examine some of the history that led us to the point where current networking architectures are no longer viable for cloud computing at mega-scale. We’ll take a look at the basics of SDN and some of its key elements – OpenFlow, network virtualization, and orchestration – along with some of the initiatives and companies that are setting the stage for the next generation of networking.