OpenFlow does not commoditize switching. The LAN edge still needs intelligence to configure the switches and switch ports for things like VLAN assignment, management of Power over Ethernet budgets, authentication of hosts via 802.1X, and possibly integration with external switches using traditional Ethernet protocols. In the data center, there is a potential to commoditize switching if all you need is Ethernet access. However, data center networking demands usually involve lower latency overall and tighter control of the interconnections and less intelligence at the edge.
Mike Fratto is a principal analyst at Current Analysis, covering the Enterprise Networking and Data Center Technology markets. Prior to that, Mike was with UBM Tech for 15 years, and served as editor of Network Computing. He was also lead analyst for InformationWeek Analytics ... View Full Bio