Readers of this blog know that Software Defined Networking is a popular topic in our industry. Nearly every recent Networking Field Day session has involved some form or flavor of SDN. The centralized control plane concept promises to provide a control point for various APIs and allow for service chaining and orchestration. While the industry is going through some growing pains, a changing future is something we can be sure of.
While these new concepts are cool and exciting, many around us just don’t care. Everyone in non-Netowrking roles just wants a robust network and don’t care how we achieve that. The ability to steer flows and chain services is way cool. Unlike geeks, the customers and our bosses don’t care about cool. SDN holds more promise than its cool factor to geeks. As I see it, there are many benefits that organization will realize as SDN matures.
Benefits of Software Defined Networks
- Abstracted Control Plane for a Central Point of Management
- Granular Control of Flows (as required/desired)
- Network Function Virtualization and Service Chaining
- Decreased dependence on devices like load balancers
- Facilitation of system orchestration
- Easier troubleshooting/visibility
- Platform for chargeback/showback
- Decreased complexity and cost
- Increased ability to utilize hardware and interconnections
- DevOps friendly architecture
The bottom line is that while I think SDN is cool, most could care less. Customers and organizations that we work for want a reliable, scalable network. As geeks and technologists, we have some work required to sell the benefits. We must strive to demonstrate the value of breaking down silos, creating IT agility, and provide a framework that gives our organizations a real competitive advantage.