Adding on doesn't always add up
The biggest reason that complexity grows unchecked is that people typically add to their IT infrastructure with a whole lot more frequency than they subtract from it. You end up constantly adding things. Something doesn't work quite right, you add a workaround. Need some new capability, add a new feature. This incremental nature of growth leads to IT sprawl. We need to be removing things as frequently as we add stuff (and arguably more frequently since we have accumulated architectural debt).
Interoperability, by the way, ends up suffering too. Because if you deploy 600 features, even if both solutions support 599 of them, that 600th can prevent the things from working together.
Part of the hope of SDN is that it levels the architectural playing field some. It removes the reliance on these features (when customers deliberately allow it). But this requires a rethinking of architecture and procurement practices. A good first step? That standard RFP that you have? Consider starting from scratch rather than just adding SDN as a new section to an already-overloaded document.
Mike Bushong (@mbushong)