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Masergy 2015 Predictions: The Era of Software Defined Networking


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Karyl Scott, Director of Content Marketing, Masergy

2015 - The Era of Software Defined Networking

2015 will be the year that Software Defined Networking truly takes flight. The software defined enterprise leverages cloud services to free up resources for business value creation. In 2015, forward-looking companies will adopt intelligent network infrastructures that are able to deliver flexible and scalable applications to the business, and give computing professionals visibility into and centralized control over all elements of their infrastructure-network, compute, storage and applications.

Software defined networking (SDN) principles are key enablers of this next-generation enterprise. Cloud services and software driven architectures reduce the cost and complexity of delivering applications and services to the business while increasing innovation and agility.

SDN is an architectural concept that decouples network functions from physical, vendor-specific devices. SDN makes networks programmable using published APIs allowing for such future benefits such as enabling applications to talk directly to networks to request certain levels of bandwidth and quality of service.

SDN also applies the concept of virtualization to the network whereby specialized network appliances can be replaced with commodity hardware running all manner of network services such as routing, security and switching.  

SDN enables new network applications and services to be deployed over dynamic, high-performance, virtualized networks. Network services can be orchestrated on an end-to-end basis across data centers, corporate offices and remote locations and across multiple physical networks.

SDN will enable service providers to create more agile networks that support "everything as a service" from compute and storage resources to business applications and services.

The key benefits of a SDN architecture are:
  • Elimination of network complexity
  • Simplification of network administration
  • Increase speed to provision new service
  • Enablement of customer self-service
  • Ability to scale networks on demand
  • Centralize policy management
  • Provide consistent configuration management
  • Enforce compliance requirements across all devices and applications
The need for more cost effective and dynamic networks is being driven by key corporate computing trends:
  • The growth of cloud-based and corporate data centers
  • The increase in cloud services
  • Exponential growth in network devices from servers and PC to mobile devices and sensor-based devices
  • Growth of mobility and the traffic these devices and apps generate
  • The collection and dissemination of big data

For example, a company might have compute intensive applications that have specific network throughput requirements. SDN-enabled networks will be able to automatically spin up multiple virtual networks with dedicated bandwidth for each particular application.

Today, some innovative service providers enable administrators to reallocate network bandwidth without service provider intervention. But many more carriers still require a lengthy service request process.

Moving forward in 2015, SDN will virtualize key network functions such as routing, security and session border control in software, eliminating the need for the deployment and individual management of each device across various locations. An administrator will be able to set a policy for each class of virtual device and ensure compliance across all like devices in the network.

While standards-based SDN is still in the formative stages, much work has already been undertaken by forward-looking companies to deliver dynamic network service, bandwidth on demand, and self-service to enterprises. Moving forward in 2015, we will see increasingly sophisticated real-time capacity management in our networks and API-enabled performance-on-demand.

Published Tuesday, December 30, 2014 6:27 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:56 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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