SDN 101: Discover why enterprises worldwide are adopting SDN.

SDN 101: An Introduction to Software Defined Networking

SDN 101: An Introduction to Software Designed Networking Download

If you’re ready to start exploring software-defined networking (SDN) then this is a great place to start. Find out what it is, where it came from and, more importantly, its advantages over the traditional data network model.

The traditional data network is reliant on dedicated appliances so network functionality evolves slowly. Each appliance has to be configured individually and many tasks become time-consuming for IT teams. Software-defined networking (SDN) aims to overcome these challenges.

Yet there is still confusion about the best approach to SDN. As one of the hottest trends in IT, many vendors are claiming their approach to networking offers SDN. Not all of these provide true software-defined functionality. As more enterprises start to look at SDN, they are starting to ask, ‘What is SDN? And what benefits should we be expecting?’

The evolution of SDN

The growth of virtualised network appliances and the software-defined datacentre have placed more emphasis on software-based network functionality. The need for increased agility has shifted attention away from purpose-built appliances to virtual and as-a-Service offerings.

A simple definition

The Open Networking Forum (ONF) defines SDN as, “an emerging architecture that is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective and adaptable, making it ideal for the high-bandwidth, dynamic nature of today’s applications.” It goes on to explain how SDN architecture decouples the network control from forwarding functions so that it is directly programmable and more agile than before.

The core advantages

Beyond network virtualisation itself, the added opportunities from SDN include:

  • The dynamic movement, replication and allocation of virtual resources
  • Easing the administration burden of Quality of Service and security
  • A way to simply deploy and scale network functionality
  • Reduced OPEX through better use of network resources
  • Faster evolution of functionality
  • Less network complexity

IT organisations looking to move beyond traditional networking will need a plan. This should identify how their enterprise can incorporate SDN into existing networks so they can take advantage of the benefits.

If you’re ready to explore SDN and create a plan of action, start by reading our introductory whitepaper.

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