Networking has left the building.
It sounds crazy to say, but traditional networking, as we often think about it, is largely a thing of the past. Cloud computing, remote working, multi-device management – they all require us to approach networking entirely differently. What used to be about two computers “talking” to each other, is now about facilitating constant, real-time information sharing – on a massive scale, across devices that are rarely (if ever) in the same building.
Enter Software-Defined Networking, or SDN, which together with innovations in networking infrastructure is enabling modern, efficient, reliable workplaces (and workforces), as well as just every facet of our online lives these days.
In the simplest terms, SDN provisions, monitors and manages networks. Though it can instantiate networking functions in software on commonly available hardware, it is no substitute for good network design. Together, good network design and SDN can give network engineers practically unlimited creative freedom in developing new networking functions or innovations.
Below are four benefits of moving to SDN for your organization to consider.
1. Greater Reliability via Automation
SDN is a great option for large, complex networks that require lots of up-time. It gives engineers the ability to re-route networks on the fly. For example, when an outage occurs, a software defined network can be configured to automatically reroute around that area and maintain the connections your users need.
2. More Efficient Network Management
SDN offers real-time visibility into your network performance. This visibility gives you the ability to optimize your network’s performance and to drive its efficiency (as well as that of your team’s).
In the past, the most effective way to ensure network availability was through redundancy, which of course comes with additional equipment and circuits and costs. Because SDN offers the real-time ability to automatically reroute or to stand-up new functions and routes, you can increase your nines of uptime without adding new hardware and increasing costs.
4. Faster Scalability
SDN offers automated scaling-up (and scaling down). This ability, combined with the additional visibility it brings, gives engineers the operational ability to normalize traffic across a wide space, and to do it quickly and seamlessly.
SDN brings all sorts of benefits to the table. Understanding what it can do for your organization is critical; and so is understanding what it can’t. As with anything, good design and effective management win the day. But if you’re looking for an opportunity to improve your network’s performance and to cut costs, SDN may be the way to go.