Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Derek Granath, Vice President of Product Management, Extreme Networks attempts to debunk a few popular misconceptions about SDN.
Emerging technology is no stranger to the networking industry. Every few months, solutions hit the market that promise to address a specific need or requirement – from faster speeds to increased flexibility and agility to better visibility. However, more often than not, emerging technologies are misunderstood and the benefits of that technology are clouded (pun intended) with confusion.
Such has been the case with software-defined networking (SDN). While some have suggested there is a sense of “SDN fatigue” in the market from enterprise users, the question really is no longer about if enterprise IT will adopt SDN but when. In fact, IDC predicted that this market is set to grow to more than $8 billion by 2018, globally.
As an increasing number of enterprise users look for solutions that leverage hardware in a vendor-agnostic fashion and look for integrations and interoperability with applications and infrastructure residing in the cloud, they will have no choice but to embrace SDN. Just as businesses expect IT to deliver agility, enterprise IT also needs to transition into a software defined delivery model. Because of this, SDN has become a critical building block.
However, this does not mean it will be an easy road. In fact, it is anticipated to be a long journey, with some suggesting we’re in the “early innings of a long game.” The good news? Deploying and leveraging the actual technology will not be the difficult part of this transformation. The difficult part will be better educating the industry. The first step in doing so is debunking popular misconceptions about SDN. Here’s a look at a few:
The second hurdle we must overcome is a lack of understanding about the key benefits of SDN. While it emerged as a magic solution, many enterprise users are not actually clear why. Using analytics and SDN in combination is just one future possibility which could make it easier for businesses to deploy servers and support users in a more cost-effective way. It can also provide an overall improved user experience. Here’s a high-level look at additional benefits:
At some point in the not so distant future, networks will be defined by software. With the far-reaching, transformative benefits provided by SDN, it is only a matter of time before everything is defined by software. The sooner organisations empower themselves by implementing the SDN architecture needed to solve today’s complex business and IT challenges, the sooner they can secure their future.
Derek has over 20 years of technology product management, marketing, and business development experience with a focus on high-performance enterprise and carrier networking systems. He is senior director of product management at Extreme Networks where he leads the team responsible for product strategy and the roadmap for Extreme’s data center and enterprise networking platforms and solutions. Derek holds a BSEE from Stanford University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.