OpenFlow Is Dead. Long Live OpenFlow.

Software is a curious thing. Despite the best of developer intentions, sometimes projects take on an entirely different life than how they were envisioned. You don’t have to look much farther than the containerization of IT to see how something can take off in unexpected ways. Or maybe you’ve heard of the “(free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones” called Linux?

Tom Hollingsworth notes the same thing with OpenFlow. In it’s stated goal of replacing the forwarding plane programming method of switches, it’s essentially dead. But it’s found a completely separate life in our new software defined networking world. Tom compares it to Viagra, which has it’s origins as a blood pressure medication. I guess in this metaphor all the SDN products to come after OpenFlow are Cialis? Now that’s what I want to see, a commercial for a SD-WAN vendor with two servers racks sitting in bathtubs!

The Networking Nerd comments:

The King Is Dead - Long Live The King

Remember OpenFlow? The hammer that was set to solve all of our vaguely nail-like problems? Remember how everything was going to be based on OpenFlow going forward and the world was going to be a better place? Or how heretics like Ivan Pepelnjak (@IOSHints) that dared to ask questions about scalability or value of application were derided and laughed at? Yeah, good times. Today, I stand here to eulogize OpenFlow, but not to bury it. And perhaps find out that OpenFlow has a much happier life after death.

Read more at: OpenFlow Is Dead. Long Live OpenFlow.

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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