Software-defined networking (SDN) is among the newest technologies to enter the data center, but with many enterprise executives finding out, it represents a strategic change to infrastructure than a simple technology upgrade.

FREMONT, CA: SDN, when compared with virtualization on server and storage infrastructure, changes the relationships between data, applications, and users more and opens up new possibilities in how digital services can be delivered and consumed.

Therefore it becomes essential for enterprises to develop an SDN strategy to assess and deploy the leading platforms. According to the experts, it revolves around three fundamental aspects of virtual networking: securing operations from vulnerable IoT deployments, protecting against any DDoS attacks, and implementing a service-based deployment method. These elements should balance protecting and managing resources and constraining functionality while transitioning enterprise networks from a capex to an opex development model.

An SDN strategy must understand that as the network evolves, so will the enterprise. The experts note that SDN alters the way networks are designed, sourced, and used, mostly doing away with the apt vendor relationships that have flourished over the years. Instead, the enterprise will gravitate towards a homogeneous environment where the integration and configuration take precedence over the upgrades and maintenance. SDN adoption will also go hand-in-hand with the cloud. Organizations are planning to implement a massive number of cloud-native applications will most likely employ SDN to a greater extent than those that do not.

SDN is only regarded as the first step toward a completely software-defined data center (SDDC), which means the enterprise will have to plan for the day when the infrastructure management becomes a matter of writing and tweaking code instead of maintaining physical machines. This will help the organizations to craft highly customized data environments for themselves. It will be up to the business leaders to precisely determine how they are folded into the emerging strategic initiatives.

All of this is a way of saying that SDN is more of a journey than a destination. The very idea that the abstract networks can be reconfigured practically on a whim turns the idea of data infrastructure on its head — from something used to something experienced.

In order to manage this transition successfully, the enterprise has to determine how to use SDN long before it figures out how to build it.

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