Why are Software Defined Networks essential for your IT strategy?

Software Defined Network (SDN) is a game changer in organizing network tasks while achieving business requirement. Virtualizing the server environment will now provide resources dynamically when needed. Services will become more of a plug and play environment.

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There has been a huge development in the field of technology. As enterprises and CIOs continue to drive their focus on digital transformation, they need to work hard to modernize their technology. A robust network is an important aspect for digital transformation. Unfortunately, the traditional networking infrastructure has not been restructured the way server and storage infrastructure has been over the past decade.

Software Defined Network (SDN) is a game changer in organizing network tasks while achieving business requirement. Virtualizing the server environment will now provide resources dynamically when needed. Services will become more of a plug and play environment. Yet CIOs feel that technology providers often seem to be pushing SDN just to sell hardware and enterprise these days don’t need more hardware as the concept of cloud moves from vision to reality.

Let’s be clear: SDN does not come under the hardware umbrella. It is all about better performance and efficiency in the software layer. CIOs today really need to understand how to leverage SDN to provide full programmability of the entire network from a single location.  
Cost reduction is one of the most compelling advantage for any technology adoption, the argument for SDN adoption is that the technology can drive enterprise-wide change. SDN will have a huge impact on network design in the future making it more dynamic and easier to manage large amount of data.  Successful demonstration are often moving to production quicker than planned. Network agility and lower costs allows a CIO to bundle services in a different way, which can reduce the time it takes for the product to reach its final sales level and reduce opportunity costs incurred. This gives the CIO greater business agility, which offers more liberty to innovate and accelerate an upward innovation ladder.

SDN for optimizing cloud and virtualization

The concept of cloud technology gradually moves from vision to reality. Cloud adoption is on the rise without the wonderful benefits of SDN technology. In the simplest of terms, no network means no cloud and no applications. How does that work?
If you look at traditional network models used across most organizations, they haven’t really evolved much since the 90s. How different is technology from then? Moore’s Law has been applied to networking in moving from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps and yonder, but we have recently started seeing changes in network architecture. Day by day the number of applications that are being hosted on the cloud are on the rise, and with application hosting environments present outside the traditional internal network, a different and more optimal model is required.

Imagine an application that can identify network demand and move its loads to different server clusters based on where the user is located. SDN decouples control and the hardware plane and implements it in software instead, which enables program access and, as a result, makes managing the network much more flexible. SDN empowers a CIO to scale up and down as required via the use of a simple software. As a result, SDN is an enabling technology that allows an organization to triumph greater productivity and agility from their network and virtualization environments. Additionally it also allows for enriched management, increased visibility and superior automation. 

The same application could modify network paths based on income projections or data sensitivity within the application.
For example, an eCommerce platform which has a large user base in India plans to expand internationally; however, due to a wide range of data privacy laws, data must remain locally stored. Rather than running network implementation projects and extensive infrastructure builds, the application could move instances to a cloud provider in that respective country, providing VPN back to the company’s headquarter and detect and encrypt personal information to meet privacy rules. With the help of SDN and automation this could be done in just minutes or even seconds.

This emerging technology has the ability to change the face of networking creating a revolution in it.  SDN vows to be valuable to customers, disrupting business advantage. Is SDN a key part of your IT strategy?
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The writer is Head of Solutions, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, India


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