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Open Source and SDN #Interop

stu bailey interopFrom the 'Vendor Defined' networking:

LAS VEGAS- For me, open source is mother and it is father. It is a better way to build software and it's also a better way to build networking too.

I sat in a session today at the Interop conference, led by Stuart Bailey, a name that is familiar to me as the leader of a commercial networking vendor infoblox. As it turns out, he's also Open Network Foundation Spec Editor, SDN Design Team Member, Working Group Vice-Chair and an OpenFlow Open Source Contributor.

Bailey went through an (IMHO incomplete) list of open source SDN networking efforts, but that's not the point. The point is that when it comes to SDN, open source is how the industry is moving forward.

Whether it's OpenFlow (technically an open spec) or the Floodlight SDN controller or Infoblox's own LINC SDN controller, controlling SDN is a big area for open source.

Though to be fair, these are still early days, multiple vendors including HP and Juniper are both building proprietary controllers (that leverage open standards) and jury is still out on whether OpenDaylight will amount to anything. OpenDaylight is a big multi-stakeholder effort to build open source framework platforms (i.e. a controller) for SDN.

A few things that Bailey said really stuck out in my mind.

1)"If you are just learning about SDN you are not late to the party."

2) Remember the thrill of getting Linux running? that thrill is here as the paradigm shift is key."

That's right the 'tinkering' nature of getting something to work that is awesomely powerful and open to learn from is what Linux and open source SDN efforts are all about.

Again still very early days, but there is no mistaking a clear trend here, open source and networking are here to stay.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.