Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo

SDN Journal: Article

What CIOs Need to Know Today About SDN

SDN is a dynamic network architecture that transforms traditional network backbones into intelligent service-delivery platforms

  1. SDN is not just today's fad or buzzword.

SDN is a new, dynamic network architecture that transforms traditional network backbones into more intelligent service-delivery platforms. IT leaders can use SDN as a tool to change the way they do business. For example, enterprises can foster closer relationships with their customers by offering greater online access to select data over the enterprise network. A financial services firm can give large corporate customers the opportunity for third-party reporting, governance, or even allow analytics firms to directly access enterprise credit card transactions, obviating the need for intermediate sites and cumbersome manual process steps that are needed to provide sufficient multi-level security. An SDN would create virtual network partitions governed by stringent and limited access policies, and security to decrease unauthorized access.

  1. SDN enables the cloud and aids the large enterprise transitioning to IT-as-a-Service

Today, large enterprises typically use cloud services for email, application hosting or non-critical storage backup to cloud data centers, which are accessed over low -speed IP networks that statistically multiplex data as the network permits. Over the next few years, enterprise will leverage the cloud for distributed database access of increasing amounts of data and for both platform and infrastructure services. As the use of the cloud becomes more prominent, IT will need a more flexible and intelligent network to capitalize on the potential that the cloud represents. A cloud-ready network must be able to dynamically respond when IT needs to move large amounts of data, without bottlenecks, security holes or data loss. SDN makes this happen.

  1. SDN's shift to automation streamlines labor costs

SDN enables network automation, which significantly reduces provisioning times and configuration errors, as well as decreasing operations costs. Automating the network is essential towards virtualizing the network - expanding network capacity and efficiency while improving revenue potential and service innovation. SDN will help IT managers improve and simplify network operations and allow them to tailor their network to specific applications and IT requirements. According to a 2011 CIO Insight survey, automation could eliminate up to 25% of IT labor hours.

  1. SDN offers a way to build simpler and more customizable networks

In an SDN architecture, network intelligence is logically centralized to offer unprecedented control of forwarding behavior in the underlying network elements through open, programmatic interfaces. By maintaining a global view of network topology and configuration, granular, flow-based network control may be achieved that is abstracted from the hardware through OpenFlow. In addition, configuration changes may be made without directly accessing individual network elements, significantly streamlining operations. With the unprecedented programmability, automation, and network control that SDN offers, enterprises and service providers will be able to build highly scalable and flexible networks that readily adapt to changing business and end user needs.

  1. SDN paves the way for a more flexible security architecture, lowering overall costs

Traditional approaches to network security are predicated upon providing physical protection for a static perimeter. SDN offers the potential to reshape the network security landscape by providing a more granular, and service-oriented means of managing increasing threats brought on by mobility and BYOD, and the rapid expansion of cloud and virtualization services.

SDN leverages the flow-based paradigm, allowing for user-level policies to be enforced no matter where users physically access the network. Suspicious flows can be rapidly redirected for further security processing, while these processing demands can be relaxed by alleviating the need for all flows in the network to be examined.

  1. SDN's "centralized control" model enables Network Virtualization

Network virtualization involves dividing available bandwidth into multiple slices that can then interconnect virtualized compute and/or storage resources throughout the enterprise. An SDN architecture allows networks to be flattened, consolidated and automated, all of which help simplify operations. Capacity can be increased by simply adding (or upgrading) network elements. SDN helps to streamline network provisioning and configuration, which translates to faster deployment of services and applications. Infrastructure management is also facilitated through coordinated, in-service software upgrades as well patch and version management.

  1. The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is working aggressively to push Open (vs. Proprietary) SDN

The ONF - a who's who from industry - are working to develop and standardize SDN architecture and best practices. OpenFlow is the first ONF SDN standard that provides an open interface between the Control and Data planes. By abstracting the software providing control from the hardware providing the forwarding, a common control layer can control multiple vendors' equipment simultaneously, and concurrently with existing equipment running today's Layer 2 and Layer 3 protocols.

  1. New working groups and vendor solutions are emerging every day to tackle SDN

One of the newest working groups within ONF, the Optical Transport Working Group, is chartered with extending the benefits of SDN and OpenFlow to the optical network domain. Another working group, the Migration working group, will produce methods to migrate from a traditional network, like a data center or a wide area network, to SDN. Primarily driven by end users, the Migration working group members are considering various deployment scenarios, obstacles to overcome, and requirements to realize the benefits of SDN while protecting the huge investment in the installed base.

  1. SDN enables change beyond the data center.

To date, the focus for SDN has arguably been in the data center, motivated by rapid growth and adoption of cloud services. Over the past year, SDN has gained momentum in the WAN, with major carriers and customers alike actively evaluating the benefits and use cases for SDN throughout their networks. With applications like Data Center Interconnection, Hybrid Cloud (i.e., Public to Private Cloud) networking, and Big Data applications spanning the globe, SDN enables an end-to-end, highly flexible solution offering agility, differentiation, and overall cost reduction.

  1. Software growth will be steady, not spikey.

The SDN market is expected to surpass $35 billion in the next five years, far higher than previously reported, according to new research by Plexxi, SDNCentral and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Despite the shift to SDN, hardware will continue to play a significant role in the network infrastructure. It is estimated that by 2018, 46 percent of overall datacenter network spending will be on SDN-enabled optical, switching and routing hardware while a slightly higher number - 49 percent - will be spent on non-SDN-enabled datacenter optical switching and routing. This is not surprising, and hardware and software will continue to co-exist in SDN.

More Stories By Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn is a Senior Director of Market Development at Ciena Corporation, where he is focused on Ciena’s strategy for Software Defined Networking (SDN). He is also the Vice-Chair of the Market Education committee for the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

For over 20 years, Marc has drove and promoted successful communications products for systems, software, semiconductor, and services firms serving the Data Communications and Telecommunications markets. Prior to joining Ciena, he held senior marketing and product management roles with IP Infusion, Micrel, Amdocs, Lucent Technologies, Alidian Networks, and International Network Services.

Marc earned a MS EE degree from the University of Southern California where he was a Hughes Fellow, a BS EE degree in Electrical Engineering and was the first Computer Engineering graduate from the University of Missouri.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Michael Bushong 06/20/13 11:27:00 AM EDT

It's rare that you see these articles pointing out most or all of the emerging SDN trends - automation, DevOps, optical, WAN, Open.

I do think that the discussion about Open and Closed probably needs a bit more precision. Open can mean a lot of things:

Standards
Interoperability
Interchangeability
Open Source
Access

I think the focus has been on Standards, but in an emerging space, Standards will lag. The real desire is to make things interoperable to enable heterogeneous environments and interchangeability to prevent lock-in.

Mike Bushong (@mbushong)
Plexxi

@CloudExpo Stories
In a world where the internet rules all, where 94% of business buyers conduct online research, and where e-commerce sales are poised to fall between $427 billion and $443 billion by the end of this year, we think it's safe to say that your website is a vital part of your business strategy. Whether you're a B2B company, a local business, or an e-commerce site, digital presence is key to maintain in your drive towards success. Digital Performance will take priority in 2018 for the following reason...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
"Cloud computing is certainly changing how people consume storage, how they use it, and what they use it for. It's also making people rethink how they architect their environment," stated Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to ch...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...