Sunil Khandekar, founder and CEO of Nuage Networks, explains how SDN can remove constraints that hold back the network from being as dynamic as the cloud requires
SDN Insights: Why is SDN now considered vital in preparing networks for the cloud?
Sunil Khandekar: The fundamental notion of SDN bridges the gap between networks and applications, and that it is vital for the application-centric mindset that drives cloud services. SDN principles are expected to yield networks that are more programmable, more efficient and easier to operate as users and their applications move to the cloud.
What do you see as the main opportunities as the "marriage of IP and IT" unfolds?
Nuage Networks sees the opportunity to make networks as fluid and responsive as computing infrastructure has already become, and cloud applications need them to be. Today, data center networks have fallen way behind what is required and what is possible. They are operationally complex, restricted and inefficient. Configuration is highly manual, and performed device by device. As they look to turn up new applications, CIOs and IT administrators are encumbered by various tedious networking details that are irrelevant to their broader mission.
It all adds up to delays, errors and frustration for users who need their applications turned up. It is simply not an IT-friendly paradigm. With SDN automation and virtualization, we seize opportunities to remove constraints that hold back the network from being as dynamic as the cloud requires. Any application, every cloud, anytime…
What will be the biggest challenges for telcos?
Of course challenges and opportunities vary from case to case, making it unfair to generalize. Perhaps the biggest challenges, though, will lie in telcos truly adopting the cloud mindset - one in which networks aren't the end product, but rather a key means for delivering the value of rapid and user-driven application delivery.
If telcos can make networks as readily consumable as cloud computing, and leverage their structural advantages in delivering assured services to customers across disparate locations, they should be well positioned to extend their "basket of goods" beyond bandwidth to include applications that are at the heart of their users' cloud experience.