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Software-Defined Network: Paradigm Shift

Software-Defined Network: Paradigm Shift

This report explains what a software-defined network is and digs into how the components work together and how SDNs change the way IT pros practice network management.

If you’re not already in the process of moving your data center to a software-defined networking (SDN) model, those three initials may seem like the hallmarks of a buzzword — one that’s gained increasing frequency
and attention in the last five years. It’s risen to a loud crescendo as startups and veteran tech firms challenged established network vendors, who themselves evolved their offerings and acquired many of the upstarts.

What makes it more than just a marketing bullet point and a fad? Software-defined networking is a paradigm shift. SDN transitions network engineers from managing networking hardware as a set of loosely associated individual devices into managing a single, flexible virtual entity that, at its best, hides complexity and management overhead while increasing sophistication. It finally brings the humble practice of networking up to par with conceptual and practical changes in how servers, storage, and applications are managed today.

An SDN allows all of the following: Central configuration; the option to use commodity networking equipment; consistent top-level security policies; and better harmony with all forms of modern app deployment, in which traffic among services or containers may be many times that of data that enters and exits your networks.

With SDN, networking may finally step up to the advantages available in the rest of modern computing.

This report walks readers through the definition of the software-defined network, explains how the component parts work together, talks about how SDNs change the way IT pros will practice network management, then provides tips on assessing whether your organization is ready for an SDN and how your organization can make the migration.