Written by Dan Pitt
Dan Pitt is Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation, joining on its public launch in March 2011.
Often times, vendors will attempt to up-sell their products to their consumers with empty promises, especially now in the software defined networking era. Dan Pitt discusses what network operators really need to ask; he explains that it is crucial to understand what type of product vendors produce and what open source means to them.
How does a customer separate the marketing hype from the true story when they hear from, what they hear from vendors? This is not a new question. This has been going on for decades, and with SDN they're hearing such a variety of things. Everyone is saluting the SDN flag. Oh yes, we do SDN, we slap SDN labels on products that have been around for ten years. How do you wade through that? You have to be pretty well educated. It's an ongoing challenge. When some network operator says to me, well how do I get started, and I said, well first talk to your vendors, ask them, what do they produce and what is open and what is standard?
We're the advocates of the open standard approaches to SDN away from the proprietary approaches that have kept a lot of network operators locked in to single vendor solutions. Then the technical activities that we are very deeply committed to and involved in are really delivering the open standard interfaces, architectures, frameworks and protocols that'll make it easier for network operators to have choice of providers of those products that provide those.