Reaction to the OpenDaylight announcement across the SDNCentral community was mixed with many more questions than answers, including:
- What is value to end customers? Where will customers see value?
- What does this mean to open-source software not included or working within OpenDaylight? OpenDaylight solves a major problem with the previous iteration of ope-source SDN software (and create some new problems as well…but that’s another post)
- Are Cisco and IBM (and others) genuine in creating and supporting OpenDaylight? Or is this a front to something else?
- What does this mean to SDN startups? See Suitability for Network Virtualization for VC Investments, Should I Join an SDN Startup; and vSwitch is the new Battleground
- If OpenDaylight has open-source code, vendor sponsored engineers and events – then what is the role of the OpenNetworking Foundation (ONF), the Open Networking Summit, and On.Lab in SDN going forward?
- Did we trade one version of vendor lock-in for another?
To some degree the answers to these questions are in the eye of the beholder — and our take is that people are confusing a likely effect of OpenDaylight with the founders intent when they talk about OpenDaylight being Cisco’s way to drive their controller or to block start-ups.
The end result may very well be where startups are blocked due to OpenDaylight, and I believe that is a possible effect of OpenDaylight, though not the intent of the founding companies. Meaning, as a former corpdev leader, I can’t see where someone wakes up every morning from Cisco or IBM saying — I’m out to screw with startup XYZ. However, I can see where a byproduct of OpenDaylight could be less perceived opportunities for startups. I say — perceived — because the real issue for startups isn’t OpenDaylight and the ability to contribute code, but distribution for non-OpenDaylight base controllers and applications. With OpenDaylight the viable distribution channels for alternative controllers just shrank dramatically as literally every networking / virtualization reseller in theory will end up with access to some product created out of OpenDaylight for them to sell and support.
Secondly, we see that many people miss that OpenDaylight exists to provide a counterbalance to the power held by VMware — when put in that context — one can see that snipping about Cisco and IBM and how OpenDaylight is structured and why OpenDaylight is bad for startups is really a side show to a broader, bigger battle brewing between the VMware ecosystem — and — everyone else. OpenDaylight is about leveraging ‘everyone else’ to attempt to provide a counterbalance to VMware, not startups.
Clearly we are in exciting times and certainly there will be many more twists and turns.
Don’t just list to us — Check out these other takes on OpenDaylight:
- NY Times
- Cisco Blog and Omar Sultan
- The Register
- Network World
- GigaOm and Second Article