Software Defined Networking (SDN) at CMUG

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

I have been researching SDN (Software Defined Networking) for a customer and then for presentation to the Cisco Mid-Atlantic User Group ( CMUG). In my opinion, SDN will be a big change for networking, similar to the change that occurred with Virtual Machines in the compute industry or virtual memory for software development.

The CMUG presentation slides and recording are available at here.

The presentation runs 80 minutes. If you’re already familiar with OpenFlow and how it works, you can skip to slide 19, where I being to talk about SDN itself. The last slide includes a set of references for further education. There are two references that I have found particularly enlightening. One is in the listed references, a presentation by Scott Shenker, “A Gentle Introduction to SDN”:

The second reference, which was published after my CMUG presentation, is from Brad Hedlund:

Scott and Brad both work for Nicira, which was recently acquired by VMware, so you may feel that the Nicira marketing message is getting too much credence. Personally, I see how the virtual networking that is described in both references can have a big impact on networking. The analogy that I used in my SDN presentation is relative to the changes that occurred when virtual memory became widespread. [Note: I describe the analogy in more detail in the recording than is evident in the slides. I’ll do a blog post about the similarities in the near future.]

There is currently a lot of hype around SDN and you can see a lot of companies trying to position themselves as an SDN player. These companies can get away with it because SDN is currently somewhat ill defined. We should see the definition of SDN become more well defined in the next year or two. You will then be able to better distinguish which companies are real players and which companies are trying to ride on the SDN bandwagon.


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.