Leveraging SDN technology to optimise digital transformation trends
A variety of digital transformation trends have played into the central idea of SDN. These include intent-based networking, hybrid cloud solutions, distributing computing power to remote sites, moving data centre functions to the edge, adopting cloud computing and supporting Internet of things (IOT) environments. Each of these efforts can be made easier and more cost efficient via a properly configured SDN environment, according to Duxbury Networking CTO Andre Kannemeyer.
“Agility is a key attribute of digital transformation, and enterprises will adopt architectures, infrastructures and technologies that provide for agile deployment, provisioning and ongoing operational management,” he points out.
Kannemeyer says SDN has changed the way we think about building our networks – with simplicity, security and intelligence as the driving factors. “Today, achieving and maintaining market leadership is predicated on an organisation’s ability to recognise shifts in the business landscape and adapt faster than competitors can. Businesses that can respond to new market dynamics quickly will lead their industries, while those that cannot will struggle to survive.”
He adds that SDN has been around for a while, but it is still maturing, and throughout its evolution, it is important to look at how dynamic real-time change, rapid on-demand growth and integration of service context will play a key role in enabling a successful deployment and avoiding performance visibility gaps in a user’s infrastructure.
“We believe that the next 12 months will be a major driver in how networks are built and re-built. We see software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) as a natural application of SDN that extends the technology over a WAN. While the SDN architecture typically underpins a data centre or campus, SD-WAN takes it a step further.
“At the most basic level, SD-WAN lets companies aggregate a variety of network connections – including MPLS, 4G LTE and DSL – into a branch or network edge location and have a software management platform that can turn up new sites, prioritise traffic and set security policies. SD-WAN’s driving principle is to simplify the way big companies turn up new links to branch offices, better manage the way those links are utilised – for data, voice or video – and potentially save money in the process,” Kannemeyer explains.
Kannemeyer advises organisations considering the implementation of SDN to contemplate solutions that solve actual production challenges instead of fuelling vendor marketing machinery.