Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Jyoti Bansal, Carmen Gonzalez, Kong Yang, Yeshim Deniz

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

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
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across supply chain networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost and time for product recall as well as advance trade. Are you curious about Blockchain and how it can provide you with new opportunities for innovation and growth? In her session at 20th Cloud Exp...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTred processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
As pervasive as cloud technology is -- and as persuasive as the arguments are for using it -- the cloud has its limits. Some companies will always have security concerns about storing data in the cloud and certain high-transaction applications will always be better suited for on-premises storage. Those statements were among the bottom-line takeaways delivered at Cloud Expo this week, a three day, bi-annual event focused on cloud technologies, adoption and associated challenges.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Quickly find the root cause of complex database problems slowing down your applications. Up to 88% of all application performance issues are related to the database. DPA’s unique response time analysis shows you exactly what needs fixing - in four clicks or less. Optimize performance anywhere. Database Performance Analyzer monitors on-premises, on VMware®, and in the Cloud, including Amazon® AWS and Azure™ virtual machines.