Enterprise Networking: SDNs: 6 Reasons to Adopt Software-Defined Networks, and 2 Reasons to Wait
Software-defined networking (SDN) is being touted as a disruptive technology that will enable the networking layer of the data center to catch up with servers and storage, which have undergone massive transformations as cloud computing, virtualization and other trends have taken hold and made them more efficient, better performing and easier to deploy and manage. While servers and storage have evolved, networking hasn't, and has become an expensive bottleneck. SDNs hold the promise of fixing that. SDNs essentially decouple the control plan from the vendor-specific hardware and software, and using the vendor-agnostic OpenFlow protocol between the two. The goal is to take networking tasks that are now performed on the hardware, and do them in software. The intelligence in the networksuch as directing traffic to minimizing latency to securityis moved from switches and routers to a central, software-based controller. A growing number of startups have cropped up with products to support and facilitate SDNs, and larger vendors like Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and Hewlett-Packard also are embracing the trend, even though it threatens to take away profits in their established switch and router businesses. Big Web-based companiesincluding Google, Facebook and Rackspaceare deploying SDN technologies in their massive data centers. But as with any burgeoning technology, there are certainly reasons to jump on board SDNs, as well as some reasons to take it slow. Here are a few of both.