Open Daylight Project: A Striking Collaboration

The OpenDaylight project that was launched a couple of weeks ago has been throwing up a lot of questions from the SDN consortium and many others. A joint initiative from the Linux Foundation, the project has been endorsed by majors like IBM and Cisco Systems. People are wondering what the end customers stand to gain from this project and what value they will gain. However, it all depends on how you view the concept, though several people believe that Cisco’s involvement is to hinder start-ups rather than help them.

In case the fears of the people are not unfounded, and the result is that they do get blocked because of the OpenDaylight project, though the founding companies never wanted that to be their real intent, there could be a real problem. The main worry of the start-ups is the distribution for other than OpenDaylight base controllers and applications. The OpenDaylight project just put a stone in the works of distribution channels for controllers.

Of course, one cannot deny the fact that the OpenDaylight project will be a fitting answer to the sway VMware has over others. It is more like a preparation for a final showdown between VMware ecosystems and the others who will be backed by the OpenDaylight project and the founders Linux Foundation and the endorsement from IBM and Cisco Systems.

Today, after the launch, several other founders like Dell, Citrix, Brocade, Arista Networks, Microsoft and many more joining hands with Linux Corporation and willing to spend great sums of money to make the project a success. When the final picture emerges, there could be many more players like Nuage, Fujitsu, PLUMgrid, who will be offering virtual network interfaces and OpenStack integration to support the cause.

The code, which is to be made available sooner than expected, is to be governed by a Board that will have a specially constituted Technical Steering Committee and several Project heads. This is like most of the other open source projects one has seen earlier, with the primary founders and contributors being reserved seats on the board, and others empowered with a vote each. With so many decision making heavyweights constituting the board, the networking industry cannot simply wish this project away, or ignore it as a least likely threat.

There are several practical issues that will be faced by the large number of vendors, who will have to somehow fall in place within one broad framework. There are bound to be several twists and turns before a final picture emerges. While vendors of hardware would like to have a firm control over hardware, VMware seems to be intent on controlling networks and virtual machines. Cloud vendors are interested in having SDN move into their cloud, instead to that of any competitor’s. Cisco is perhaps keen on hybrid cloud as their sole interest is to sell their hardware to the cloud vendors, and using Cisco hardware may offer the added incentive of being able to mix private and public cloud. However, all this can happen only over a period of time, and experts believe the actual effects can be felt not less than a year from today.

Author’s Bio: Tina Reeves currently works at Cable Companies, a site that enables everyone to learn about how to save on broadband and internet cable.

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