August 15, 2019 by Siobhan Climer
Software-defined networking (SDN) is a physical architecture that segments the network control plane from the forwarding plane. SDN enables the dynamic collection of technologies that programmatically ease the provisioning, management, visibility, and integration through automation.
Summary: SDN infrastructure management provides visibility and intent-based management of the network.
The Evolution Of SDN
SDN’s most commonly acknowledged precursor is the OpenFlow protocol around 2008. Before this, hardware and manual policy provisioning dominated network management.
OpenFlow defined programmable network protocols capable of managing and directing router and switch traffic, and this divergence from earlier architectures led to the rise of an array of SDN technologies.
SDN is directly programmable, agile, centrally managed and programmatically configured – plus, when implemented through open standards, SDN simplifies network operation and management.
Today, SDN supports the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, remote access, and intent-based networking. Every business, from the SMB to the enterprise, is finding innovative ways to embed SDN infrastructure management into network architecture, seizing these benefits as part of a digital transformation.
Learn more about SDN and how it is modernizing the network in our white paper.
How Is IT Navigating The Shift?
Network engineers have had to adapt at lightning speed, moving into architectural roles and learning the basics of scripting, APIs, and deployment in real-time, parallel to SDN infrastructure management implementation.
Many find Google searches, video tutorials, and trusted technology partners to be their biggest assets, enabling them to problem-solve and innovate. Certifications, degree programs, and peer networking are also invaluable during this shift.
This is one of many areas where we excel, sharing insights and expertise to enable business growth and roadmap alignment. Talk with our network experts today in a whiteboard session about how SDN can transform your business.
What Role Will SDN Infrastructure Management Play Moving Forward?
As much as technology gurus and evangelists have been beating words like IoT, AI, and edge computing to the ground, they are building on foundational – albeit hyped – truths.
While most SMBs and mid-market organizations – and even enterprises – are a bit far from implementing these technologies, they aren’t above proactive implementation. SDN, with its embedded automation and optimization controls, is an advanced architecture that will enable digital transformation later on.
Investing in SDN is part of developing a technology roadmap. Finding out what – if any – business alignment SDN infrastructure management brings, and then artfully building it into your future roadmap will help you prepare for the onslaught of technologies that are looming in the distance.
Schools, for example, will need to invest at some point in SD-WAN. With multiple campuses, thousands upon thousands of users, a “lean IT staff”, and an explosion of devices, SDN controllers will be able to adjust for congested networks and enable automated bandwidth or processing adjustments on the fly.
This will directly impact latency and student (and teacher) success. The business alignment, in this case, is obvious.
Manufacturers, financial institutions, professional service groups, hospitals, healthcare clinics, distributors … the list goes on and on with industries affected by these changes in how people use technology. SDN offers a potential proactive tool for managing these shifts.
Regardless of the industry, SDN infrastructure management is bringing technological innovation and change, and IT leaders will need to prepare for the shift.
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About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s reading and writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.