SDNs: 12 Steps Enterprises Can Do Now to Get Ready
For years, enterprise networking was dominated by the likes of Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks, which sold expensive and complex switches and routers that made the data center run. As other parts of the data center—servers and storage—were being virtualized, networking remained relatively untouched. That is changing, with the rise of software-defined networks (SDNs), virtualized networking and protocols such as OpenFlow, fueled in large part by the rise of cloud computing and the demand from Web 2.0 companies like Google and Facebook for technologies that increase the performance and drive down the costs in their massive, dense data centers. SDN essentially separates the data and control planes, taking many of the networking tasks now performed on complex hardware—such as directing traffic, minimizing latency and security—and doing them in hardware instead. It promises greater flexibility, scalability and efficiency in the data center, while reducing costs. Now a growing number of vendors—from established players like Cisco, HP, Juniper and Extreme Networks, to smaller SDN specialists to data center stalwarts like VMware and Oracle—are developing SDN solutions. “We’re seeing the beginnings of a new wave of building blocks” in IT infrastructure, Vyatta CEO Kelly Herrell told eWEEK. There are steps enterprises need to take to get ready to deploy SDNs in their data centers. Here are some tips and considerations from SDN specialists Adara CEO Eric Johnson and Dan Tuchler, vice president of marketing at Vyatta.