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I’m feeling Seussish again and looking to tackle SDN this time.  If you missed my first go it was on Hadoop: Horton Hears Hadoop.  Here’s another run:


The app could not flow

Net was too slow to change.

It sat on the server

Waiting on admin for change.


It sat there quite idly

Customers did too

The dev thought, “How I wish

They’d let my app through!”


Too slow to adapt

Too rigid and strict.

The business can’t move.

And that’s my verdict.


So all they could do was to





The dev did not like it.

Not one little bit.


And then

Someone spoke UP!

How that speech gave us PUMP!


We listened!

And we heard it move into the hype!

We listened!

A network of SDN type!

The message quite clear,

“You’ve got no need to gripe.”


“I know it is slow

and the network is messy.

There is a fix

With software that’s dressy!”


“I know some good tricks we can use,”

SDN gal said.

“A header or two,”

Said the gal with the plan.

“Controllers as well.

I will show them to you.

Your CTO

Will not mind if I do.”


Then app and dev

Did not know what to say.

The CTO was out playing golf

For the day.


But the net admin said, “No!

Make that gal go away!

"Tell the SDN gal

You do NOT want to play.

She should not be here.

She should not be about.

She should not be here

When the CTO is out!”


“Now! Now! Have no fear.

Have no fear!” Said the gal.

“My tricks are not bad,”

Said the SDN gal.

“Why you’ll have

So many options from me,

With some tricks that I call

Virtualization you see!”


“Stop this nonsense!” admin said.

“We don’t need to scale!

Stop this nonsense!” Admin said.

“The net cannot fail!”


“Have no fear!” said the gal.

“I will not let net fail.

I will make it dynamic

And people will hail.

Its changes are quick!

It grows very fast!

But there is much more it can do!”


“Look at it!

Look at it now said the gal.”

“With a new overlay

And control from a pal!

It can adapt very fast!

It’s managed quite nicely!

The scale is much greater!

And admin less dicey!

And look!

You can change flows from here!

But there is more dear!

Oh, no.

There is more dear…


“Look at it!

Look at it!

Look at it now!

It’s better you see

But you have to know how.

How it can adapt

And respond to new apps!

How it grows to scale!

And helps those dev chaps!

Can grow past those VLANs

And direct traffic, see!

We wrap Layer two

In Layer three IP!

And we route the IP!

As we grow big from small!

But that is not all.

Oh, no.

That is not all….”


That’s what the gal said…

Then the net went dead!

The apps all went down

From out at the NOC.

The developers,

Watched with eyes open in shock!


And the admin cried out.

With a loud angry shot!

He said, “Do I like this?

Oh no! I do not.

This is not a good trick,”

Said the admin with grit.

“no I don’t like it,

Not one little bit!”


“Now look what you did!”

Said admin to gal.

“Now look at this net!

Look at this mess now pal!

You brought down the apps,

Crashed services too

You cost us some sales

And caused lost revenue.

You SHOULD NOT be here

When the CTOs not.

Get out of the data center!”

Admin said from his spot.


“But I like to be here.

Oh, I like it a lot”

Said the SDN girl

To the admin she shot.

“I will not go away.

I do not wish to go!

And so,” said the SDN girl,




I will show you

Another good trick that I know!”


And then she ran out.

And, then fast as a fox,

The SDN gal

Came back with a box.


A big green wood box.

It was shut with a hook.

“Now look at this trick,”

Said the gal.

“Take a look!”


Then she got up on top

And with no rationale.

“I call this game SDN-IN-A-BOX,”

Said the gal.

“In this box are four things

I will show to you now.

You will like these four things.”

Said the gal with a bow.


“I will pick up the hook.

You will see something new.

Four things. And I call them

The SDN glue.

These things will not harm you.

They want to move frames.”

Then, out of the box

Came her SDN claims!

And they came out quite fast.

They said, “Are you ready?

Now should we get started

Let’s get going already!”


The devs and the apps

Did not know what to do.

So they sat and they watched

Watched the SDN glue.

They stood in their shock

But the admin said “No!

Those things should not be

On this net! Make them go!”


“They should not be here

When the CTOs not!

Put them out! Put them out!”

Admin yelled with a shot.


“Have no fear, Mr. admin,”

Said the SDN gal.

“These things are good things

And good for morale.”

“They’re great.  Oh so great!

They have come to fix things.

They will give back control

To the network today.”


“The first is an overlay,

Number two a vSwitch

But that’s only halfway.”

Was the gals latest pitch.


“We’ll next need control

For the flows as they go.

Something to manage

Those flows as they flow.

But there’s still one more piece

Of this SDN madness.

Device management system

To avoid admin sadness.”


Then the SDN gal

Said with conviction

“We aren’t quite done yet

There’s one more restriction.

We must tie these together

In a cohesive fashion,

If we do not

It’s all stormy weather.

We will organize things

With apps at the center

And let those developers

For once spread their wings.”


“You see in the past,”

Said the SDN gal.

“The net was restrictive

the apps were in hell.

Now we change things around

Put the apps back in focus.

Using these tricks,

And some good hocus pocus.

With a sprinkle of tears

From the unicorn clan,

And a dash of fine dust

A pixie put in this can.

We’ll accomplish the task.”

SDN gal said as she drank from her flask.


And lo and behold,

The network sprang back.

The packets were flowing,

TCP sent it’s ACK.

The admin stood shocked,

As he used the controller.

With this type of thing,

He would be the high roller!

He gaped in amazement

At the tenancy scale.

No longer 4000,

It was net holy grail.


The apps back online,

As CTO entered.

A disaster avoided, he was left with no sign.

Of the mess that had happened,

While he was out and about.

But the faint sound of snoring

SDN girl drunk and passed out.

Post Author: Joe Onisick

Joe has over 13 years experience in various disciplines within technology and the data center. His current focus is cloud computing infrastructures, I/O consolidation, and next generation data center architectures.

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