Bringing your network up to speed with SDN

Handling the demands of cloud computing, big data and mobility means modernizing legacy networks. One way to do this is through a software-defined network, which provides each physical location with its own access to the cloud.

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As technology evolves, organizations are responding by rolling out more agile, flexible IT services. To do this, they’re turning to cloud computing, big data processing and mobility. But IT managers must also run these models while offering an appropriate experience to customers, employees and other users.

While cloud and mobility are transforming information technologies, the network has not evolved much through the decades. Traditional networks have not been designed to handle cloud and mobility traffic issues, which are a critical part of today’s business operations.

But the adoption of tools such as videoconferencing and unified communications (UC) largely relies on a quality network.

To operate efficiently under these new computing models, it’s critical to modernize the network, rather than leaving it up to a wide-area network architecture that was designed some 30 years ago.

One way to bypass WAN limitations and bottlenecks is to set procedures that enhance quality of service and simplify transport methods, applications and data.

Another way is through the software-defined network, or SDN, which distinguishes itself through a faster, more agile and scalable infrastructure. This technology centralizes network management, isolating the hardware from the software, which reduces the organization’s dependency upon particular network hardware.

An SDN allows every physical location to have its own access to the cloud — public or private — offering more efficient and effective use of bandwidth. Rolling out an SDN can’t be done overnight, though. It’s recommended to proceed in steps, while using wide-area network optimization methods.

According to an IDC study, the market value of SDNs (combining both enterprises and providers) will increase from US$960 million in 2014 to US$8 billion in 2018. This leads us to presume that organizations wish not only to reduce their network operation costs but also, in the short term, migrate network computing to the cloud.

For more information, see the Allstream white paper explaining how network optimization can help you implement private cloud services.

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos

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