"Second, Extreme is in the interesting position of having to announce capabilities that customers are already using, but that they hadn't really emphasized. Being one of the small number of vendors whose customers had pushed them to get a decent API to automate operations, the move to OpenFlow support isn't that big a deal. Their service provider customers have been doing automated control for a while. With OpenFlow support, they'll have to consolidate things, but it's not a huge change for them.
"I don't think that OpenFlow support, by itself, will win Extreme new customers," Hanselman says.
Others say Extreme's SDN strategy is not that unique.
"Extreme made the case to me that you need 'the right network OS' to make SDN really work," says Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler & Associates. "I can buy into that to the extent that I can theorize that some OSs are more suited than others. That said, Extreme did not make much of an attempt to specifically point out what 'uniaspects' of their OS made it easier to support an SDN."
Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.
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