Networking is very vital for every transmission to take place. Just like any other field, networking has faced a huge revolution and growth. This started from the initial traditional data network (TAD) where all the networks functionalities were using a dedicated appliance such as application delivery controller, switch and a router. Dedicated hardware such as ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) was implemented with the dedicated appliances. Seemingly, over the past year, software-defined networking (SDN) has taken over TAD with many vendors providing IT solutions considering SDN as the best technology transforming the world of networking. SDN support enabling virtual mobility without the use of any physical network .
What is a Software Defined Network?
SDN (software defined network) is a centralized approach that allows the network to be controlled intelligently using software applications. Regardless of the of the underlying network technology, administrators and network engineers can operate the entire network and devices consistently.
Why Use a Software Defined Network?
The following are the primary reasons why one should consider using a software defined network:
- Provision of a centralized network: Software defined networks provide a centralized control point of the entire network, simplifying enterprise management and provisioning. SDN can accelerate service delivery in both physical and virtual network devices.
- Guaranteed delivery of content: The ability to control and shape traffic is one of the advantages of SDN. This makes it easier to implement quality of service for multimedia transmissions, streaming high-quality video and VoIP (voice over IP)
- Cloud abstraction: With the evolution of cloud computing into a unified structure. Software defined networks are playing a role in abstracting cloud resources. These networking components make up massive data centers and can all be regulated by the SDN controller.
- Minimized operating cost: Using an SDN results in improved server utilization, efficient administration, virtualization and other benefits help in cutting down the cost of operations. Although it is still early to count on guaranteed savings, when compared to traditional data network, SDN lowers the overall cost of operation.
- Improved security: Software defined networks are more appealing to IT managers because it comes with a centralized security. This is an indication that SDN can be used in security management throughout the enterprise when it is implemented securely and properly.
- Reduced capital expenditures and hardware savings; using software defined network brings a new picture to the existing network devices. The automatic device intercommunication using intelligent centered SDN make the whole process less expensive.
How to Integrate Software Defined Networks
Integrating software defined networks comes in three layers. The first is the application layer which contains business applications. The second is the controller layer that houses the network operating system. Finally the infrastructure layer which houses the network devices. SDN is purely conceptual with the concepts varying depending on the approach and the vendor.
Popular Software Defined Network Service Providers
The following service providers are in the best in the software defined network market space:
- Cisco ACI
- VMware NSX
- Avaya SDN Fx Architecture
- Juniper Contrail
- Barefoot Tofino
- Extreme SDN platform
- Nuage Virtualized Service Platform
- Brocade’s SDN Controller
- NEC Programmableflow
- Big Switch Networks Big Cloud Fabric