Software Defined Networking is at the center of many discussions and debates regarding networking, and right fully so. It means many different things to many different people, and there is a lot of confusion and discrepancy in the term. You can ask 10 different people what SDN means, and you will get 10 different answers. If you ask me, SDN is today what cloud was five years ago. I won’t attempt to define what exactly SDN means, but what I will say is that like cloud, the value of SDN will clarify itself over time with powerful use cases and meaningful applications. Case in point, at the Spring 2014 Open Networking User Group (ONUG) meeting in New York City, the ONUG board of directors proposed nine different use cases that were most likely to be in an RFI/RFQ in the next 12 months. From these use cases, the IT business leader community at ONUG chose Software Defined WAN as the most critical use case in open networking today.
While the idea of SDN in general is exciting and powerful, most companies are in the planning stages of their SDN and automation vision. Most believe it will take at least two to three years to architect and realize the benefits of automation across the enterprise. What’s driving SDN is the promise of the following benefits:
- Management: Manual -> Automated Networks
- Configuration: Box Centric -> Network Wide
- Speed/Agility: Weeks/months -> Minutes
- Interoperable: Closed system -> Open System
Currently, there are very few, if any, companies who have completed their SDN strategy. Partially because it’s quite complex with many permutations, and partially because it’s so important to get it right. While planning for SDN and automation in the enterprise, there are two key things to consider:
- SDN applications must add value to the existing network today
- SDN applications must be able to integrate into the customer’s vision for SDN and automation.
There will be a transition between beginning and end state, but any SDN tool being considered must show value on the network as it is currently deployed and allow for integration with future architectures and platforms. If these considerations can be met, there is a clear reason to begin deployment today. Companies desire a mature solution in global production that enables value through SD WAN, meeting all of the benefits above, not just the promise of those benefits. Glue Networks can provide these benefits. Read More »