VMware's Chief Architect: Don't Be Scared Of SDN, Be Prepared

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You said some people feel threatened by SDN. Who and why are they scared?

I don't think anybody can really agree on what SDN means. And I certainly don't know what it means anymore. I just want to be clear about that. But I think there's a sense that there's change in the air. And that change is around horizontalization and that change is around software-consuming functionality. We can call it whatever we want. To me, this is the realization of network virtualization.

I think people know the networking world is changing, and it has everybody on their heels because nobody knows which way the world is going to converge. So I think everybody is threatened, but not really threatened by SDN. They're threatened by the knowledge that there's change. And I think it requires redefining roles, and I just think it's scary. ... It's not as as simple as 'such and such is going to be made irrelevant.' It's really about redefining roles. It's like, what is the role of the traditional networking vendor if the functionality is being provided from software, what is the role of the channel, what is the role of the network architect? It's not obvious what the disruption is going to be.


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