CDNs to Lead SDN Innovation in 2015


In 2014, Cyber Security was the technology that impacted CDNs the most, and many responded by developing and incorporating cyber security features into their product portfolios. Most of the innovation was done at the WAF level. In 2015, SDN is the next technology that will impact CDN innovation, and CDNs will respond by incorporating parts of SDN architecture into their infrastructure and product offering. Instart Logic was the first CDN startup to incorporate SDN into its architecture. Akamai was next, and took it to another level by developing an NFV offering for Network Operators.

In a nutshell, Akamai is making it possible to copy and paste (via virtualization) their CDN platform to the Network Operator infrastructure, if you will. Currently, all of the SDN innovation is being led by the following sectors: Networking (Cisco), Service Providers (AT&T) and Pure-play (BigSwitch) industries. CDNs will join and lead SDN innovation in 2015, because SDN impacts their business as much as it does the Network Operator. At the core, CDN’s are the Network Operators of the middle mile. This is fantastic news for the CDN Ecosystem because it will enable them to build a product portfolio that is anything but commoditized. Here are some SDN nuggets.

 Three Major Open Source SDN Projects

  • OpenDaylight: Founded by Cisco and IBM. Seen by many as vendor driven. Members included Dell, HP and Brocade. Struggling for credibility
  • Project Floodlight: Backed by BigSwitch, and used by Radware, 6wind, and others. Has the largest open source community. 100% open source across the SDN stack including the data plane
  • ON.LAB: Founded by Stanford University and Berkeley. Product is ONOS. Built for Service Provider and Carrier. Expanding to the enterprise. Funded by AT&T, Ciena, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NTT and others. Backed by ONF (Open Networking Foundation). Includes northbound and southbound interfaces

 Open Networking Foundation

  • Founded by Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Verizon, Microsoft…
  • Biggest Accomplishment: Created OpenFlow Standard
  • OpenFlow is a southbound API that handles communication between the control plan and network devices (forwarding plane). First standard of SDN
  • OpenFlow is one of many southbound APIs. Another major southbound API is NETCONF. Also, Cisco offers OnePK and Juniper has Junos Space.
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