May 26th, 2013
Sometimes a picture is worth more than a 1000 word response to articles like this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/24/network_configuration_automation/
Translation: SDN (Automation, overlays, etc.) is wholly dependent on a well designed and deployed physical network. SDN can provide very useful features and capabilities…again, when deployed on top of a well designed and deployed physical network.
‘Automating’ means pushing the big red easy button. However, the “big red easy button for networking” only works because someone WELL versed in network design and configuration pre-configured it for the button pusher. Automating the configuration of applications and associated services requires the proper chaining together of required, and properly configured, physical and/or virtual resources. Automation doesn’t remove initial complexity. Automation helps reduce perpetual complexity – design once, use many.
Network engineers are needed for proper design and deployment of a solid physical network. Network engineers are needed for designing service chaining required for things like automation. And network engineers are needed when things break.
For the network engineer, SDN simply means that they will need to add things like python to their skillset. They need not worry about the future of their existence.
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