Software-Defined Networking – SDN Versus Legacy Network Infrastructure

By - February 17, 2015

As organizations continue to the search for ways to accelerate time to increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and deploy new services at web speeds, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a fast emerging technology and shift in the traditional trappings of network design.

SDN provides organizations accelerated application deployment and delivery, reduced IT costs, improved value of data center virtualization, increased resource flexibility, and greater cloud integration.   As computing trends continue to drive network change, SDN solves the challenges associated with networks that are ill-suited to the dynamic technology needs of today’s data centers.

techrepublic photo - Jake DeWoskin blog - Feb 2015

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Common challenges associated with technology trends driving this need for a new network paradigm include:

  • Constantly shifting network traffic patterns: Applications that commonly access geographically distributed databases and servers through public and private clouds require extremely flexible traffic management and access to bandwidth on demand.
  • The “consumerization of IT” and the flexible workforce: Mobility, remote access, flexibly scheduling, and BYOD trends require networks that are both flexible and secure.
  • The rise of cloud services: Users expect on-demand access to applications, infrastructure, and other IT resources.
  • More bandwidth: Handling today’s mega datasets requires massive parallel processing that is fueling a constant demand for additional capacity and any-to-any connectivity.

In trying to meet the networking requirements posed by evolving computing trends, IT professionals find themselves constrained by the limitations of current networks:

  • Complexity that leads to stasis: Adding or moving devices and implementing network-wide policies are complex, time-consuming, and primarily manual endeavors that risk service disruption, discouraging network changes.
  • Inability to scale: The time-honored approach of link oversubscription to provision scalability is not effective with the dynamic traffic patterns in virtualized networks—a problem that is even more pronounced in service provider networks with large-scale parallel processing algorithms and associated datasets across an entire computing pool.
  • Vendor dependence: Lengthy vendor equipment product cycles and a lack of standard, open interfaces limit the ability of network operators to tailor the network to their individual environments.

RSM would welcome the opportunity to assist with your evaluation of SDN.  For more information on this or other ways to increase IT efficacy, contact RSM’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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