How SDN Can Drive Network Performance and Lower Costs

By: Fran Howarth| - Leave a comment

Software-defined networking (SDN) emerged in response to the rise of virtualization, mobility, big data analytics and the Internet of Things, which have all exposed the limitations of traditional networking. SDN is an architectural approach that uses software to make the entire network programmable and provide greater flexibility and scalability. This dramatically reduces complexity by automating previously manual tasks and offers greater visibility into how resources are consumed.

A Maturing Market

The SDN market is now in the early mainstream level of adoption. According to IDC, the market will reach more than $6.6 billion this year and will continue to expand at a 25.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach $13.8 billion by 2021, Network World reports. This trend is echoed by a Network World survey that found 18 percent of organizations have already implemented SDN technology, and a further 49 percent are piloting the approach.

By tapping into this model, organizations can achieve faster and more efficient application development while enhancing visibility and governance. SDN can also improve security and support for hybrid cloud and IT as a service models.

Measuring Cost Savings

SDN improves network performance by virtualizing and automating resources. This approach eliminates the need for manual administration and makes any required changes less time-consuming and costly.

This model enables organizations to implement an agile, open and secure DevOps environment. By streamlining each stage of application development and deployment, SDN reduces time to market and the cost of developing new applications.

SDN also provides brokerage services so that enterprises can perform all administration and management tasks through one central console. This enables organizations to take better advantage of hybrid environments, including IT as a service models supplied on a subscription basis.

By providing greater visibility into networks, SDN improves security, which is often hampered by costly and arduous manual administration. Because the central console acts as the enforcement point, applying and enforcing policies will become much easier. Companies can also set security parameters around each asset and user based on their role, using macro-level policies that can be updated and modified as needed.

Planning the Journey

Before transitioning to SDN, it’s important to keep a few considerations in mind. First, businesses should take a holistic approach to strategy, design, deployment and operations. Organizations should determine if they have the skill set required to deploy SDN, if they should hire additional resources and whether they need to provide existing staff with specific training. Starting with a proof-of-concept deployment can be especially helpful in determining the exact benefits a particular enterprise can achieve by implementing SDN.

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About The Author

Fran Howarth

Freelance Writer

Fran Howarth is an industry analyst and writer specializing in cybersecurity. She has worked within the security technology sector for more than 25 years in an advisory capacity as an analyst, consultant and writer. Fran focuses on the business needs for security technologies, with a focus on emerging technology sectors. Current areas of focus include cloud security, data security, identity and access management, network and endpoint security, security intelligence and analytics and security governance and regulations. Fran can be reached at fhowarth@gmail.com.

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