The blurring of boundaries between networks and devices stemming from the cloud trend is one factor behind the drive toward software defined networking in enterprise networks.
Manually administered networks can be a barrier to any cloud move due to the latter's need for agility, and SDN holds potential for lifting this barrier. Recently, NTT Communications announced its SDN-based cloud migration service that touts the ability for speed up the move from legacy to enterprise cloud.
SDN's purported promise of automation within the network is expected to facilitate the self-select and automatic provisioning process that is part of any business seeking to go on the cloud today, says Mike Banic, VP for global marketing at HP Networking.
SDN remains a relatively new concept in the networking industry but benefits touted include the elimination of what Gartner analyst Mark McDonald terms 'human middleware', the IT professionals whose job in the network consists primarily inputting command lines and scripting. SDN boasts the ability for the command line input and scripting procedures to be applied to the network as a whole.
This function signifies greater efficiency in the data center as the cloud, BYOD and Big Data have resulted in a large number of devices that have placed strain on both networks and IT administrators.
The heart of SDN likes in the SDN controller, which communicates with all network devices in a domain and is in charge programming the network from a central point. With an SDN controller in charge, rules and policies can be programmed across the network in a single instance, independent of devices. The SDN controller performs these functions via software and SDN's potential lies in the type of applications that can be developed for the SDN controller.