While some have speculated that SDN is a risk to Cisco and its networking business, nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that today, Cisco executive, David Ward is the Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), helping to build SDN as a whole. In an interview with InternetNews.com, Ward detailed his views on what’s right and what’s wrong with SDN and OpenFlow, as well as providing insight into what Cisco is doing today.
At Cisco, Ward is the CTO and Chief Architect of the Service Provider Division and as such is directly involved with Cisco’s technical efforts. His role as the Chair of the TAG at ONF is about helping to make sure the effort moves forward towards a real standards body.
In terms of Cisco’s direct view on SDN in general, it’s an area of active interest and activity, today.
“The machine is turned on,” Ward said. “What I mean is that Cisco is embracing and has been embracing the concepts of Software Defined Networking for quite a while now. We haven’t gone public because we’ve been doing the research side for R&D.”
While SDN can take many forms, the open source OpenFlow protocol is one of the key and primary drivers in the market today. It’s an area that Cisco is now also actively developing too.
“There are butts in seats and fingers on keyboards, pounding out the software for OpenFlow as well as extensions to that technology,” Ward said.