April 29, 2013

SDN: Enabling new apps and services

There’s a fair bit of confusion in the marketplace as to what exactly SDN is. However, we at Enterasys Networks believe that most people would agree that Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a compelling approach to designing, building and operating networks that support business agility — by simplifying networking and enabling the deployment of new applications.  Architecturally, SDN incorporates these key three characteristics:

  • A Centralized Point of Management & Control that can easily monitor resources and enforce policies for the whole network, including Data Center servers, applications, users and devices – so that high quality user experience can be achieved, with simplified operations and compelling OpEx savings
  • A Programmable environment that offers flexibility through automation and orchestration across the entire network fabric – so that the entire network (from data center to the edge) can be easily and dynamically be provisioned to improve network efficiencies and reduce costs
  • Open 3rd party apps integration that enables rapid integration of any application from any vendor from the virtualized data center to the mobile edge

While there has been a lot of buzz about SDN in terms of OpenFlow and other architectural details, we at Enterasys believe new and differentiated services (through apps) running on top of such an architecture should be more emphasized.

Since OpenFlow is a southbound protocol between the controller and the data plane, Enterasys believes a northbound API should be given a higher priority at this point. This will enable the integration of new apps and services. A northbound API provides an open interface between the control/management and the apps. It is needed to enable new apps and services from 3rd party vendors, developers and users.

The Enterasys view is shared by many of our customers and prospects – please take a look at the following infographic showing the results of poll questions during a recent Enterasys SDN webinar. It shows the importance of a northbound API and also the three key SDN characteristics outlined above.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, if you would like to share and collaborate on topics like this and others that include BYOD, Wi-Fi, SDN and Enterprise Mobility, please follow @akafel and I will follow you back.

4761-SDN-Infographic

To embed this infograhic into your site, please use the following code:

<div style=”width: 720px”> <a href=”http://blogs.enterasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/4761-SDN-Infographic.jpg” /> <img src=”http://blogs.enterasys.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/4761-SDN-Infographic.jpg” alt=”SDN Survey Infographic” /></a><br/> Infographic authored by <a href=”http://www.enterasys.com/”>Enterasys Networks</a>. To view the original post, see the original <a href=”http://blogs.enterasys.com/sdn-it-is-about-new-services-simplicity-and-agility”>SDN Infographic</a>.</div>

About The Contributor:
Ali KafelDirector of Product Marketing

Ali Kafel is the Director of Product Marketing at Extreme Networks. He leads product launches, sales enablement, and strategic marketing programs for all Extreme Networks solutions including: Wireless, Switching, Data Center, Network Management and Security. He comes to Extreme Networks with over 20 years of IT and Telecom experience. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University, School of Management, where he is currently teaching a marketing class. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and an MBA from Suffolk University in Boston, MA.

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