Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Dan Ristic

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Microservices Journal, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 Silicon Valley, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Plutora, Inc., the leading global provider of enterprise release management and test environment management SaaS solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Plutora provides enterprise release management and test environment SaaS solutions to clients in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Leading companies ...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akana, formerly SOA Software, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Akana’s comprehensive suite of API Management, API Security, Integrated SOA Governance, and Cloud Integration solutions helps businesses accelerate digital transformation by securely extending their reach across multiple channels – mobile, cloud and Internet of Thi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular In...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud....
SYS-CON Events announced today that FierceDevOps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FierceDevOps keeps software developers and IT operations personnel updated on the latest news and trends around the rapidly evolving role of the traditional IT worker.
PubNub on Wednesday released an open source template to allow developers to add Skype-like video chat into their apps. The free template provides a fully functional video chat platform using WebRTC, PubNub and Google Authentication for a global, reliable collaboration solution. “While the WebRTC protocol has created huge excitement as a way to deliver video chat ubiquitously, there’s still a gap between the protocol itself and the ability to deploy a working, globally scaled, collaboration appl...
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquir...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StorPool Storage will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. StorPool is distributed storage software that allows service providers, enterprises and other cloud builders to run data storage on standard x86 servers, instead of using expensive and inefficient storage arrays (SAN).
SYS-CON Events announced today that QTS Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing providers of data center facilities and cloud services and a leader in security and compliance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading national provider of data center solutions and fully managed services, and a leader in security and compliance...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IndependenceIT, a leading software provider of simplified IT management solutions for workspaces, applications and desktops-as-a-service, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IndependenceIT's Cloud Workspace® Suite combines application, end-user and infrastructure management into a seamless, easy-to-manage platform, with a unified management interface an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that that Innodisk, the service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies. With satisfied customers across the embedded, aerospace and defense, cloud storage markets an...
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that kintone has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. kintone promotes cloud-based workgroup productivity, transparency and profitability with a seamless collaboration space, build your own business applic...
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WSM International (WSM), the world’s leading cloud and server migration services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. WSM is a solutions integrator with a core focus on cloud and server migration, transformation and DevOps services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Site24x7, the cloud infrastructure monitoring service, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Site24x7 is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that helps monitor the uptime and performance of websites, online applications, servers, mobile websites and custom APIs. The monitoring is done from 50+ locations across the world and from various wireless carr...
DevOps tasked with driving success in the cloud need a solution to efficiently leverage multiple clouds while avoiding cloud lock-in. Flexiant today announces the commercial availability of Flexiant Concerto. With Flexiant Concerto, DevOps have cloud freedom to automate the build, deployment and operations of applications consistently across multiple clouds. Concerto is available through four disruptive pricing models aimed to deliver multi-cloud at a price point everyone can afford.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ mission-cri...