If you watch the software defined networking space, you might have noticed that Brocade has been quietly hiring a sharp group of actual (not self-proclaimed) thought leaders and developers. The question has been, “To what end? What’s Brocade going to do with all of these capable folks?”
Today, we can answer that question. Brocade has built an SDN controller based on OpenDaylight. This makes sense, as folks like Tom Nadeau (featured on the show today), David Meyer, and Colin Dixon are all heavily involved with ODL in various capacities as well as being a part of the Brocade family.
Okay. So…yet another SDN controller entrant to a suddenly crowded market. Why should anyone care about the Brocade SDN Controller? The big thing to know about this product is that it is truly a child of open source. If you think of the ODL project as an open source foundation on which other companies can base their own controller on, then you get the idea of what Brocade has done here. The Brocade SDN controller is ODL at the base, meaning that SDN apps written for ODL will work on the Brocade controller. That gives businesses some flexibility – a move towards a genuinely open ecosystem of SDN apps that will be multi-vendor. Apps are what SDN is going to be all about going forward. Apps really, really matter, since businesses buy the functionality technology brings — not technology for its own sake.
The other side of the equation here is support. Many businesses don’t want to deal with open source software platforms unless they can get a support wrapper built around them. Red Hat has made a business model out of this. Brocade is doing much the same thing here. Take the ODL controller, polish it up (contributing much of that “polish” back to the ODL project, by the way), add some interesting extensions that improve platform functionality without breaking ODL compatibility, and wrap it in a safety bubble of end-to-end SDN architecture support, even if your network switches aren’t from Brocade. The point being, a business can move ahead with SDN using a controller based on genuinely open standards and still get help from experts when they need it.
Give the show a listen today, and you’ll hear…
- What the Brocade SDN Controller is.
- Reasons to care, including specific use-cases & problems the platform addresses.
- A high-level overview of how it works.
- Brocade SDN Controller landing page
- Brocade SDN Controller Data Sheet
- Brocade Community on SDN & NFV
- Curt Beckmann on Open vs. Proprietary
- Lisa Caywood on the Brocade Approach to SDN