Organizations often struggle with hardware and software for efficient network functions. SDN solves majority of hardware and software issues.
Fremont, CA: Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the most significant innovations in enterprise networking since the internet. From an organization’s perspective, SDN is essential because it paves new ways for network operators to design, create, and operate their networks. The networks are facing increased traffic demands and scrutiny over the past two decades as consumers and businesses heavily rely on network connectivity for sales, internal communications, customer service, and document sharing. SDN is a single piece of a big puzzle called Network Virtualization. Technologies such as SDN, white box devices, and network function virtualization (NFV) offer a unique way to design, deploy, and manage the network and its services. Thus, SDN fused with NFV can help technologies meet increasing organizational demands.
SDN treats the network’s control and forwarding planes separately, which enables an organization to view distributed networks in a centralized manner for more efficient automation and management of network services. On the other hand, NFV optimizes network services. NFV segregates network functions such as caching, DNS, firewalls, load balancing, routing from proprietary hardware appliances. By separating the features in the software, they can accelerate service innovation and provisioning, especially in service provider environments, including the public cloud. NV ensures that the network can integrate virtualized architectures and support its demands, especially with multi-tenancy needs. White box devices can be bought by anyone as they are based on generic merchant silicon networking chipsets as opposed to proprietary silicon chips designed by and for a single networking vendor. Thus, in the absence of the restraints of working with one vendor’s proprietary limitations within the hardware, specific software and networking protocols can be applied and adapted through SDN.
Historically, custom silicon and purpose-built hardware are the basis on the most dependable networks with the highest availability and fastest performances. Software built by one company cannot perform on equipment made by a different manufacturer unless it is customized to do so. Rigorous processes are required to ensure vendors get the optimum value of each update or new iteration as it takes a significant investment to build custom silicon and hardware. This means that manual configuration is required to add new features. Customers in need of new or different functionality get bound by the vendor’s timeline and resources. However, software separated from the hardware is independent of the restraints and adapted without changing the equipment, which makes SDN important for network innovations.
SDN, NFV, and NV technologies create networks that facilitate innovation, reduce CapEx and OpEx, offer new services, and deliver fluidity and flexibility as it separates the hardware and the software and all the limitations a hardware-bound network. Organizations can design new types of applications, business models, and services with SDN in a minimal amount of time and less struggle. Organizations can reduce CapEx as the network functions can be run of affordable off-the-shelf hardware. Businesses can create new services, new income streams, and more efficient workflows. With the increased programmability of network elements by supporting automation and algorithms, organizations can reduce OpEx on IT services. In the modern digital age, organizations are looking for new ways to capitalize, and SDN is the perfect alternative.