“We need more programmable networks and high level APIs for them—we
should have done this years ago and companies such as Cisco and Juniper
will all do this,” Bechtolsheim told a gathering of engineers outside
the ballroom. “But that’s not OpenFlow, which is a protocol for a much
lower level of the network,” he said.
OpenFlow emerged from an
initiative at Stanford Unversity to define a ground-up way to simplify
large networks by running more of the work as applications on servers.
Google described its work creating an internal OpenFlow network at a
“Google’s talk was at an OpenFlow event but it was
not about OpenFlow,” said Bechtolsheim,. “now founder and chairman of
switch maker Arista Networks. “We support [OpenFlow] because we had a
customer who wanted to try it, but no one is really using it,” he said.
also took a swipe at competitors such as Cisco Systems who develop
their own ASICs and custom chips. Arista uses only merchant silicon in
“Cisco still believes they can win the war by
designing their own proprietary chips and they have the volume to do
it,” said Bechtolsheim after his talk. “But it still sounds like the old
Sparc arguments to me,” he said, referring to CPUs developed by Sun
Microsystems which he co-founded.
ASICs cannot achieve the
density and clock rates of full custom designs, he said. He predicted
merchant 28-nm switch chips will be available by 2015 that support up to
256 10G ports and 100G line rates.
“Merchant silicon market will
gain market share,” he said. “The next two iterations [of switch chips]
will see very rapid improvements in cost and performance."
Google describes its OpenFlow network
Experts see promise, threat in SDN, OpenFlow