Thanks to HP Networking* I got to attend Interop last week and it was quite the experience. Besides being inundated with tons of cool technology, ample opportunities to chat with some incredible engineers, and some really good food, I actually saw a proof of concept SDN application for voice that was definitely intriguing.
Now I’m one of those who has heard the phrase SDN enough times in the last few months that I often want force-choke anyone who dare whispers anything about network programmability in my presence. Up until recently I have focused pretty exclusively on voice, and while route/switch engineers are wondering if this SDN thing is really going to affect them, I guarantee it isn’t even a blip on the radar for most voice engineers.
That’s why this UC&C SDN Application for Lync from HP was interesting. You see, HP has taken SDN and paired it with Lync – now the SDN controller finds out from Lync about the endpoints and how much bandwidth a dynamic desktop sharing session needs, and then marks packets and ensures they are treated properly along their network journey. Sort of reminds me of RSVP but without all the heavy configuration. It also gets the bonus of receiving stats on the flow for quality reporting.
There’s a decent demo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byMtYpmh1xQ
I was going to write up how this solution was working, but I found this post which already does an excellent job of that *and* has a nice pretty pictures: http://www.nojitter.com/post/240153039/hp-and-microsoft-demo-openflowlync-applicationsoptimized-network
Now not being a Lync guru, I am not sure how helpful those that are Lync gurus think this solution will be, but the proof of concept gets me thinking about what SDN might look like for all our other latency sensitive voice applications. To me it looks like voice engineers might have to pay attention to SDN after all.
*Disclosure: HP paid my expenses to Interop and arranged for me as a blogger to see presentations, demos, and experts on their products. While they did an excellent job providing information and resources for their invited bloggers, they didn’t pay for me to say nice things about them. Opinions are of course my own because I am far too stubborn to have it any other way.