Open source SDN controllers enable network flexibility

Software-Defined Networking almost always leverages open source technologies, which leads to a choice that many networking technologists may find daunting: Should I cede critical control operations in my network to anything but a reputable, proprietary networking vendor?

The reality is that users are still learning the ways of software-defined operations—and open-source controllers are key to transformation.

SDN adoption depends on the development of new, adaptive management solutions for the operating layer.

While vendor-driven controllers have the cachet of proven capabilities, space their monolithic development model does not evolve rapidly or creatively enough to match the steep growth curve that global IP traffic is experiencing. 

Video surveillance traffic alone grew from 272 petabytes per month in 2014 to 516 petabytes per month in 2015, according to Cisco Systems. Legacy systems simply cannot adapt fast enough.

Why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Community: Working with open-source software puts companies closer to the action. As new alternatives emerge, companies already using similar options may learn early on about opportunities to improve their controllers. The knowledge that users are constantly updating software can encourage you to keep using these options.
  • Modularity: Customization can make control layers more useful. Open-source users can experiment with modular options to get better use out of their networks. Industry, bandwidth demands and other factors can affect which network options are most relevant for each business.
  • Testing: The community aspect of this kind of controller also helps verify performance. Although vendor-licensed controllers may seem more "official" to some, developers and users are far more motivated to test quickly and to deploy innovation.

With open licenses and the communities that support this movement, Motion is now!

At CloudSmartz, we help service providers prepare for the new network style with a variety of open-standard and open-source technologies.