The Quest for Dominance: OpenFlow or NETCONF for Networks Outside the Data Center?

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • For the broadband network, NETCONF deserves strong consideration for its ability to work from flexible data models (YANG) and control all devices in the service chain.
  • NETCONF, initially standardized in December 2006, has managed thousands of routers and switches, and it works well with SDN.
  • OpenFlow versions 1.4 and 1.5 appear to have the requisite functionality needed for WAN device management and control; however, although standardized in October 2013 and December 2014, respectively, vendor commitment to date appears tepid.

Since the beginning of the SDN and NFV discussion a few years back, proponents of OpenFlow have been behind the movement to control all devices in the network. This has unquestionably been the case within the confines of the data center. OpenFlow appears to solve data center issues well, even the early 1.0 version which is widely deployed, according to many sources. However, consider the many cases where, in order to provide an end-to-end WAN service or provide inter-data center connectivity, the use of OpenFlow falls short, at least until now. Read more of this post