The benefits of Software Defined Networking (SDN) are significant for both big and small networks.
Big networks, such as those that provide the backbone of the internet, can benefit from SDN's ability to scale and expand with little human effort required. Smaller networks like small to medium business LANs can also enjoy a lot of power and flexibility thanks to SDN. With SDN, these smaller networks no longer need expensive hardware in order to grow; they only need software licenses that may be much cheaper than other networking solutions on offer today. In other words: it's easier and more affordable to maintain a network using SDN than it is using traditional networking methods!
But let's start at the beginning...
What is Software Defined Networking?
The experts at Computer One say that Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a new form of networking that separates the software from the hardware. This allows for more flexibility and control over networks by moving processing from expensive hardware to software licenses which may be much cheaper than other networking solutions on offer today.
How does it work, and what are its benefits for both big and small networks alike
SDN might be a new term to some. But in truth this is a form of networking that has been around since the late 80's and early 90's when it was created by NASA and the US military. The idea behind SDN is that the network itself is separated from its controls. This enables more flexibility on what can be done with the network while still maintaining security at every level.
Here are just a few benefits of using software defined networking:
- More flexible and easier deployment: Rather than having one solution, different devices like routers and firewalls could all work together to provide more dynamic connectivity across an entire company agency/department. For example, each worker could have their own network that is tailored to them and what they need access to quickly.
Since the software that controls a network can be updated and added-to very quickly and easily, network managers can adapt their systems for new uses without having to invest in expensive hardware upgrades.
- More efficient management: The great thing about SDN is that you are no longer restricted by one solution or type of control. With software defined networking, you can change the way your company's network operates at any time.
By separating the software from the hardware, network managers are able to make changes and updates quickly and easily without interrupting service for their users. For example, they could install new firewall rules or implement new security measures while maintaining performance! Replacing slower hardware with an updated solution will be much easier when you take advantage of SDN.
- Security: Security is a top concern in every industry including government and financial institutions. But, many companies struggle with security because it's difficult to implement strong controls across multiple types and brands of hardware and software systems. With SDN this task becomes much easier because everything works together seamlessly, which significantly reduces risk.
SDN is an important network evolution, and should be considered by both individuals and businesses when working to expand or upgrade current networks.
Why should you consider SDN to be the best networking solution on offer today?
SDN offers a variety of benefits to organizations, ranging from cost savings to enhanced security, and the ability to handle more data traffic. But perhaps the most attractive aspect is that SDN can drastically improve user experience for employees—it's not just the network administrator who stands to benefit!
Here are some reasons why SDN is worth your consideration:
It leads to increased flexibility - One of the biggest concerns for companies looking to upgrade their networks is how any change will impact business operations. If you spend thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on new hardware, but then cannot use all its features due to compatibility issues with existing components, you haven't necessarily saved yourself any money. Additionally, if your company invests heavily in software licenses (such as firewall or virus protection) that cannot be used with the new hardware, you could end up breaking-even at best.
With SDN, this dilemma is eliminated completely because everything runs on software—including both the applications themselves and the interfaces between them. This means that if your organization needs to introduce (or remove) any particular service or application tomorrow, no changes will need to be made to your network hardware; it will simply be a matter of making a change to configurations. Once this has been done, employees will automatically start use it without needing to reboot their workstations or wait for IT staff to configure anything on the server-side.
It's more cost-effective - While it's true that some businesses will benefit more from SDN than others (a smaller business with only one location won't have the same network traffic demands as a larger business with multiple locations might), in general, SDN is a much cheaper way to manage networks.
It enables scalability: Although traditional networking solutions scale in value as a business grows in size and starts to need specialized services that only high-end hardware can offer, SDN scales in a different way; it's flexible enough to meet the needs of smaller businesses today, but scalable enough to grow with larger enterprises tomorrow.
What are some of the issues in working with SDN?
While there aren't any major downsides to using SDN, it's certainly possible for companies to experience some hiccups if they don't fully understand the technology and its capabilities before making any choices about how they want their networks to look in the future. There are ways to avoid these pitfalls with careful planning:
1) Don't bite off more than you can chew - implementing SDN is a lot like adding a layer of abstraction between your company and its networking infrastructure; make sure that you know what you're getting yourself into before making any commitments!
2) Be conservative during implementation - Since this new type of system will likely require an investment on your end (in licensing fees; remember, you won't need to invest in expensive hardware solutions anymore!) and may lead to some initial hiccups, it's important to approach implementation gradually so that you can learn as you go.
3) Have patience - if your business is implementing SDN for the first time, there will inevitably be setbacks and difficulties at first! Keep a patient attitude and understand that change is always difficult before putting this new system into action.
4) Know what SDN isn't - while SDN allows more flexibility than traditional networking systems do, it doesn't mean that there are no limitations - so don't expect miracles! Use of multi-tenant networks, for instance, isn't a good fit for SDN.
Overall, SDN is an exciting new tool for both individuals and businesses looking to expand their networks in the near future.
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