been living the dream already for the past decade I guess
And have never touched SDN.
I guess Trevor has been hassling with Cisco anc perhaps Juniper or others for too long.
Complex switch configurations? Not here, not the way I do stuff. My switches are easy to manage via CLI (which doesn't remotely resemble a Cisco UI). The layer 3 high availability protocol I use in combination with layer 2 loop prevention is shockingly simple - want to protect a new VLAN ? it's two commands (one command per core switch). Create a new VLAN, assign an IP to it, enable routing for it, and assign 20 different random ports? 4 commands.
I wrote in depth on this topic almost two years ago and my thoughts have not changed, you can see how I rip into SDN by googling for "So, SDN solves a problem for me which doesn't exist, and never has." if you are really interested.
My switches do support OpenFlow, and SDN. They have had an "API" for over a decade (never once used it, never needed it).
I met with Arista a few months ago, I knew they couldn't do anything for us but the boss was friends with the rep (who came from Juniper). I don't get to talk networking very often so I was fine with it. We had a good 2 hour or so conversation. Towards the end they acknowledged they can't add any value for what we do but in the future if we want to do the kinds of things they believe they excel it (all sorts of rapid automation moving VLANs around etc etc) then maybe we can talk again. Since our network management is so simple(and once it's setup it's rarely interfaced again, I have absolutely no need for dynamic VLAN changes) there's no value to be had.
For me anyway, introducing SDN at the smaller scale means needless complexity. The network already works, is easy to manage, and is simple. I went out of my way to avoid any active-active architectures like TRILL or MLAG, hell I even run entirely active/passive network links on the servers themselves (each server having 4x10G and 2x1G and 2xFibre channel). Boss really liked the idea of TRILL - it was nice to hear Arista come in and agree with me that TRILL is a bad idea(too complicated). Boss's love for active-active really ended when I showed that the new network design I deployed last year employed 80Gbps uplinks (he liked active-active for the additional bandwidth but even for him 80Gbps was going to last probably a decade and it was far simpler).
My newer 10G switches run on CAT6 cable making life even easier. I was going to deploy 10GbaseT technology 4 years ago but the HP servers at the time had no 10GbaseT NIC offering, now they do, so I am happy about that.
Simple. Very reliable. Easy to Manage. (pretty cost effective too in the grand scheme of things)
Not fancy and new though, the UI of my switches, and my fancy layer2/layer3 protection I first deployed 11 years ago(and it wasn't even new then). The ease of use, and this fancy protocol are two of the key reasons I continue to use these same products over the years because they work very well for me. I'm not a network engineer and hopefully the last Cisco switch I will ever touch was in 2008.