SDN Needs a Charles De Gaulle

There were a pair of stories in the trades last week in which VMware finally took off the gloves and effectively proclaimed themselves the antithesis of Cisco in their approach to—well, not SDN, since both companies say they have gone beyond it. But to the next generation of networking, in any case.

(That’s rather a mouthful, though, so for the rest of this post I’ll refer to their efforts as SDN just as the rest of the industry does; please forgive the shorthand. I’ll get back to the other current discussion about whether SDN 1.0 is dead in another post.)

Any good journalist knows that a good controversy attracts eyeballs, and the best controversy has two—and only two—diametrically opposed antagonists. More than two would complicate the storyline. So we got stories that suggested not only that VMware is now officially at odds with Cisco, but also that SDN architectural options are themselves both binary and comprehensively represented by Cisco and VMware.

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