SDN (Software-Defined Networking) – the computer networking approach that enables administrators of networks to manage network services via the abstraction of lower level functionality – is a fairly simple concept. Using system decoupling techniques, SDN’s underlying systems – responsible for forwarding traffic to the selected destination – make decisions about where the traffic is sent.

The process is marketed to be cost-effective and efficient, but what are the exact benefits?

Perhaps one of the core advantages behind the technology is that it provides a clearer oversight of network bandwidth and computing resources in general. It can also provide a more granular network security – a priority for many modern-day enterprises. Via this kind of approach, administrators have better, targeted control of the security in place for applications and devices being used across a particular network.

Additionally, SDN has the potential to ensure that materials are delivered in the quickest (and most highest-quality) way possible – this could be particularly useful to those companies who provide streaming and other online content to users). SDN is also thought to offer significant operational and infrastructure cost savings for businesses – due to a reduction in hardware assets and siloed network services reliance.

So, will SDN become a main player in the networking world?

It is possible to imagine that SDN, in the longer term, is such a game-changer that it renders obsolete the very idea of different tiers within the same ecosystem – it does seems to be that it can, if not level the field, at least allow tier 2 & 3 to complete better, although tier 1 carriers generally don’t think of it as much of a challenge.

It seems that SDN offers a level of agility that will provide some advantages to tier 2 & 3 carriers, but it is worth noting that major carrier believe that their existing platforms offer equivalence in terms of automation and scale.

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