Click here to close now.

Welcome!

CloudExpo® Blog Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Lori MacVittie, Hovhannes Avoyan

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

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
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a b...
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Containers Expo Blog covers the world of containers, as this lightweight alternative to virtual machines enables developers to work with identical dev environments and stacks. Containers Expo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Bookmark Containers Expo Blog ▸ Here Follow new article posts on Twitter at @ContainersExpo
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. 8th International Big Data Expo, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the cloud computing bo...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
Move from reactive to proactive cloud management in a heterogeneous cloud infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Manoj Khabe, Innovative Solution-Focused Transformation Leader at Vicom Computer Services, Inc., will show how to replace a help desk-centric approach with an ITIL-based service model and service-centric CMDB that’s tightly integrated with an event and incident management platform. Learn how to expand the scope of operations management to service management. He will al...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Amazon and Google have built software-defined data centers (SDDCs) that deliver massively scalable services with great efficiency. Yet, building SDDCs has proven to be a near impossibility for companies without hyper-scale resources. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, David Cauthron, CTO and Founder of NIMBOXX, highlighted how a mid-sized manufacturer of global industrial equipment bridged the gap from virtualization to software-defined services, streamlining operations and costs while connect...
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue o...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enter...