[SCRAP] SDN Technology to cut costs, speed new services

IT execs need to understand the benefits of this network technology in data centers and elsewhere.


Software-defined networking (SDN) is defined by a decoupling of the control and packet-forwarding planes in a network, an architecture that can slash operational costs and speed the time it takes to make changes or provision new services.

Since all the intelligence resides in software – not baked into monolithic specialty hardware – customers can replace traditional switches with commodity devices to save on capital costs. SDN also makes it possible for the network to interface with applications directly via APIs to improve security and application performance.

So what is SDN?

Traditional networks are made up of devices with integrated control and data-forwarding planes so each box needs to be configured and managed independently. Because of this, even simple changes to the network can take weeks or even months to complete because the changes have to be made to each device. This was acceptable when network changes were typically made independently from business changes.

But with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and mobility, businesses are now network-centric. Digital transformation is forcing companies to be agile and move with speed, and the network needs to be equally agile and fast. The separation of control and data planes enables control to be abstracted away from the device and centralized so a network administrator can issue a change that is propagated instantly across the entire network.

In the early days of SDN, this centralized control resided on a dedicated appliance aptly named the SDN controller, but that functionality can be delivered as a virtual appliance from the cloud or as a distributed function that runs across all the network endpoints. The key is that the separation of the control plane enables configuration and management tasks to be done from a central location.

White boxes

Initially, SDN focused on enabling businesses to replace high value, premium-price hardware with commodity devices known more commonly as white-box switches. To adopt this option, an organization would write its own lightweight operating system and manage the software itself. This proved to be tremendously valuable to Web-scale organizations as they could build custom features to differentiate their services.

However, this can also be more expensive than using traditional network devices because of the additional cost involved in hiring the network-software talent. White-box switches can also be difficult to procure, as these are not readily available from traditional value-added resellers (VARs) or distributors.

Brite boxes

An alternative to white-boxes are something called brite (BRanded whITE) boxes where vendors pre-load proven, validated operating systems and offer support and hardware maintenance. This provides some of the benefits of a white-box – like being a completely open platform – without the downside of hiring a team of people to write the operating system. Brite-boxes are typically built with Linux operating systems and are ideal for large organizations that want to align network operations with DevOps.

Turnkey solutions

The past few years have seen the mainstream network vendors jump into SDN with both feet. They still offer feature-rich, turnkey switches with all the support and services mainstream enterprises have come to rely on but with a vendor-provided SDN controller. Many of the mainstream vendors also offer support for third-party controllers.

The primary value is in reduction of operational expenses through the automation of configuration and management tasks instead of focusing on hardware costs. In actuality, network hardware accounts for less than 10% of overall data-center spend, while personnel costs can be well over half of a data center’s total cost of ownership. A small reduction in operational costs can pay significant dividends for the business.

One of the most important distinctions between traditional networks and SDNs is that the SDN controllers (or controller functionality if not on a dedicated appliance) have northbound interfaces that can communicate with applications via application programming interfaces (APIs), which enables application developers to program the network directly.

For example, using APIs, a videoconferencing application could automatically create a dedicated path between the video endpoints to guarantee the highest performance. Once the call was finished, the application could let go of the reserved bandwidth. In the past, network operations would need to get involved to reserve the bandwidth and then release it post-call. Historically this could only be achieved if a network-savvy software developer could reprogram the network through CLI commands, but software developers who understand network protocols is rare.

Software overlay

Businesses that want to software-define a network without upgrading the network can choose a solution that operates as a pure software overlay. With this model, virtual network tunnels are initiated and terminated on devices such as firewalls, WAN optimizers or even hypervisors. The benefit of this model is that non-network teams, such as security or server operations can manage their own overlay. The downside is that troubleshooting network problems can be a challenge as the underlay and overlay are invisible to one other.


Resource: Network World


Third-Party SDN Solution (5)

Aruba Software Defined Networking (SDN) provides BYOD users access while cost-effectively securing your network. SDN applications allow IT to pinpoint, diagnose, verify and solve network issues in real-time, while prioritizing Microsoft Skype for Business traffic for seamless voice and video collaboration.



Aruba Virtual Application Networks (VAN) SDN Controller Software provides a unified control point in an SDN-enabled network, simplifying management, provisioning, and orchestration. This enables delivery of a new generation of application-based network services and provides open application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to create innovative solutions to dynamically link business requirements to network infrastructure via either custom Java programs or general-purpose RESTful control interfaces. The Aruba VAN SDN Controller is designed to operate in campus, data center, or service provider environments.

The VAN SDN Controller is the building block of the Aruba Open SDN Ecosystem (including the Aruba SDN App Store and SDN Software Development Kit), allowing third party developers to deliver innovative solutions to dynamically link business requirements to network infrastructure. VAN SDN Controller software directly provisions physical and virtual switches under its control via the industry-standard OpenFlow protocol, as well as Netconf and SNMP. Network ports, links, and topologies are all directly visible, enabling centralized policy administration and more effective path selection based on a dynamic, global view of the network. This dramatically simplifies the orchestration of multi-tenant environments and the enforcement of network policy for both mobile clients and servers.



 Enterprise-class platform for the delivery of a broad range of network innovations
 Compliant with OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3 protocols
 Support for over 50 OpenFlow-enabled Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) switch models
 Open APIs to enable third-party SDN application development
 Extensible, scalable, resilient controller architecture
 Ease of deployment with OVA-based controller reducing time and cost of installation


Resource: Aruba Homepage


Third-Party SDN Solution (4)

Complete Network Modernisation

Keep up with demands from cloud, security, mobility and big data with Hewlett Packard Enterprise software defined networking (SDN) solutions. Give BYOD users access while securing your network at the edge—cost-effectively. Prioritise workers using collaboration tools, like Microsoft Skype for Business, to optimise traffic and enhance the user experience. Give network administrators the edge with the ability to pinpoint, diagnose, verify and solve network issues in real-time, from data centre to branch office.


Build an Open, Application-first Network

Start with ready-to-go SDN applications for your biggest network challenges. Transform your network security with SDN by having zero-threat protection at the edge. Optimise your network with SDN technology that adjusts dynamically to meet real-time traffic needs. Orchestrate and visualise your entire network for better control and monitoring.

It’s all part of our SDN Open Ecosystem, enabling you to develop open, enterprise-ready networking applications using all the tools and support you need, including our industry-first SDN App Store. The SDN Software Developer Kit lets you create apps for any standards-based, SDN-enabled device by quickly setting up a developer environment and creating applications on the HPE VAN SDN Controller. Gain access to the developer community in our SDN forum where you can participate in developer events and examine SDN use cases, all while backed by our support and expertise.

Benefiting from HPE SDN doesn’t require an entire rip and replace of your network. With HPE SDN-enabled infrastructure that works in hybrid mode, you can benefit from SDN wherever and whenever you want in the network.


HPE SDN App Store Opens Doors

Select from a range of ready-to-go SDN applications from the industry’s first SDN marketplace. But, it’s more than just a store. Join the platform discussions to learn and share your own apps with our active SDN community. Deploy directly to the enterprise-ready HPE VAN SDN Controller, the control point for your SDN-enabled network that simplifies management, provisioning and orchestration.

Resource: HPE Homepage



Third-Party SDN Solution (3)

As the speed of change increases, organizations are moving to the cloud for its promise of limitless scale, flexibility, and agility. But the wide adoption of cloud—plus mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data applications—is having profound impacts on IT infrastructures.

The traditional way of implementing networks and services in hardware makes them static, rigid, and manual. What’s more, these networks struggle to respond as application requirements rapidly change and new applications are spun up and moved to different cloud environments.


To pull off a move to the cloud with minimal disruption, businesses need to architect their networks to meet the connectivity, service, and security requirements of these increasingly dynamic applications. The goal is to make the network policy-driven, programmable, scalable, and automated to connect ideas to opportunities.


Juniper’s approach to software-defined networking allows you to evolve an open, agile, and elastic infrastructure based on these principles:


Freedom of Choice: Flexible deployment options allow implementation to be started anywhere in the network with the ability to grow and evolve over time. Multivendor support, seamless interoperability, and consistent security across physical and virtual elements prevent expensive vendor lock-in and allow best-of-breed choices that can future-proof your infrastructure.


Intelligent Automation: Insights based on data-derived knowledge of network operations guide automation decisions and close the infrastructure provisioning feedback loop through a policy-driven, programmable infrastructure. Rich analytics collected from all infrastructure resources with correlations between virtual and physical layers improve measurement precision and visibility, capacity planning and optimization, troubleshooting, and real-time network telemetry.


Always-on Reliability: Support for business continuity and business-critical applications is gained through highly available, highly secure, and seamlessly scalable software and hardware.


Networks built on these principles give you an ideal foundation for building secure, elastic clouds. With Juniper’s SDN solutions, you can evolve your infrastructure to private, public, or hybrid clouds, introducing support for multitenancy, self-service, and automated operations.


These networks are also the ideal platform for service providers to realize Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). On this platform, you can dynamically create agile services that adjust configurations over a common resource pool, customize service combinations and chaining through policy automation, and greatly reduce operational complexities, risks, and time to revenue.



Resource: Juniper Homepage


Third-Party SDN Solution (2)

From the information age to the present, the job of networks has evolved from providing reliable connections to offering open, simple, and secure platforms to enable digital transformation. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a technology enabling network transformation. It improves network usage, simplifies network O&M, automates deployment of network resources, creates simpler and wider terminal interconnections in the IoT sector, implements free mobility of campus network services, and offers on-demand enterprise interconnections. By leveraging SDN, enterprises can define their own networks and modify networks to support digital upgrades.

SDN in data center networks: The CloudFabric solution leverages SDN technology to create simple, efficient, and open cloud data center networks. This solution automates network deployment to enable service provisioning in minutes and provides refined O&M and minute-level intelligent fault location. With these features, CloudFabric can build the world’s largest SDN network that supports flexible service scaling, empowering efficient operation of cloud services.

SDN in campus networks: SDN is combined with cloud technology to offer cloud-managed services throughout the entire lifecycle of a campus network, enabling quick network deployment, simplified management, and extensive applications. Moreover, Huawei offers solutions and products tailored for different scenarios, and is able to deliver wireless networks suitable for all wireless access scenarios to ensure the ultimate user experience. Huawei’s wired and wireless convergence solution provides enterprise users with consistent use and management experience on both wired and wireless networks, while greatly simplifying the operations, maintenance, and management of campus networks.

SDN in cloud data center interconnection: The CloudDCI solution builds high-speed, efficient, and green cloud Data Center Interconnect (DCI) networks to support efficient operation of cloud services. This solution uses SDN to implement minute-level service provisioning and automated network control, ensuring real-time delivery of cloud services. The SDN architecture significantly improves the network resource utilization and reduces bandwidth fees through efficient traffic scheduling. CloudDCI can help you build an SDN-based cloud DCI network to support long-term evolution of cloud services.

SDN Technology in the IoT: EC-IoT innovatively applies edge computing and cloud managed platforms to the IoT field, which enables:

  • Local real-time processing, response time in milliseconds
  • Tens of millions of terminals managed, cloud-based O&M
  • Multi-level openness, 50% improved integration efficiency

SDN Technology on Enterprise Interconnection Networks: CloudEPN supports SD-WAN and CloudVPN modes, meeting customers’ service requirements in different phases. CloudEPN also achieves:

  • Shortened service provisioning time (from 30 days to 20 minutes)
  • High cost-effectiveness, WAN costs reduced by 50%
  • Customized priority, better experience

SDN Technology on Network Security: SDN technology builds a highly efficient, flexible, and ubiquitous security defense system.

  • The Agile Controller schedules services uniformly and builds a cloud-pipe-device threat defense system in data center, campus, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), and IoT scenarios
  • Precise defense based on Big Data — detects 12 types of threats with a detection accuracy of 99% or greater
  • On-demand security service provisioning: Function virtualization, on-demand, and self-help subscription of 12 types of Valued-Added Services (VASs) in the cloud

Resource: Huawei Homepage

Third-Party SDN Solution (1)

Transformation through innovation

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) helps organizations accelerate application deployment and delivery, dramatically reducing IT costs through policy-enabled work-flow automation. SDN technology enables cloud architectures by providing automated, on-demand application delivery and mobility at scale. SDN enhances the benefits of data center virtualization, increasing resource flexibility and utilization and reducing infrastructure costs and overhead.

SDN accomplishes these business objectives by converging the management of network and application services into centralized, extensible orchestration platforms that can automate the provisioning and configuration of the entire infrastructure. Common, centralized IT policies bring together disparate IT groups and work flows. The result is a modern infrastructure that can deliver new applications and services in minutes, rather than the days or weeks required in the past.

SDN delivers speed and agility when deploying new applications and business services. Flexibility, policy, and programmability are the hallmarks of Cisco’s SDN solutions, with a platform capable of handling the most demanding networking needs of today and tomorrow.

Are you looking to control expenses while innovating?

Imagine if you could deliver stronger security, faster time to service and innovation, reduced operational overhead, and business agility at the speed of the digital business. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) for the data center, Cisco APIC Enterprise Module (APIC-EM) in the enterprise, Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) for SD-WAN, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) offer unmatched IT solutions.​

Along with leading IT technology partners, open APIs, and IT orchestration tools, these solutions offer agility and operational efficiency.

Service providers, are you looking for services infrastructure solutions?

Imagine if you had a platform that could help you transform your business, plus accelerate time to revenue while reducing operational costs and deploying new services at web speed. The Network Virtualization and Automation Solutions addresses these needs.

It uses Software Defined Networking for Service Providers, Network Functions Virtualization, open APIs, and advanced orchestration capabilities to create a flexible and modular services platform. The Cisco Evolved Programmable Network is a companion platform comprising the physical and virtual infrastructure service-delivery capabilities that you can use to accelerate the deployment of innovative new services.

  • Learn how the Network Virtualization and Automation Solutions can help you transform through innovation.
  • Find out how the Cisco Evolved Programmable Network can help you accelerate services deployment.

Start your journey today

Get expert help to easily and confidently plan, deploy, and scale your new secure and automated network.

  • See how Cisco Services​ can help you

Resource: Cisco Homepage

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[SCRAP] SDN Management

Traditional network management techniques don’t work with software-defined networking. Automation of management best practices is critical for SDN to succeed.

Software-defined networking (SDN) has the potential to be transformational and disruptive, but opinions vary about how widespread adoption will be. One hindrance to adoption is network management, which tends to be an afterthought with a bright and shiny new technology. However, to help fuel SDN adoption, a conversation needs to happen now about how to manage it.

When a new application or service is installed in a traditional network, typically a planning group gets involved to assess whether or not the network is ready for it. With SDN, engineers no longer get weeks to prepare for the rollout of a new application. In fact, programmability takes the operator out of the equation.

In addition, traditional manual and device-centric management methods cannot provide the visibility needed to run a programmable network that automatically adapts to application demands. This is especially true across the dynamic, resource-constrained WAN where management is more complex than in the datacenter.

If applications and services are being rolled out without operator intervention and adequate visibility, how do you plan for them? Who or what governs whether or not these programmatic changes should be made? How do you know if the network can support a new request without negatively impacting existing applications?

Many think that if you remove error-prone humans from network planning and operations, problems won’t happen. But people do not cause many fault and performance issues. SDNs are still prone to link or node failure, software bugs, unforeseen protocol interactions, and other issues.

In addition, SDN presents brand-new challenges. For example, in a large WAN, how many controllers should you have? Where should you place them? What if two controllers talking to the same switch give conflicting instructions?

Arbitrating competing network resource requests will be critical as will setting up new paths in the first place. You will need to verify that paths are set up properly and conduct ongoing monitoring. Things like visualization of the current SDN topology will be critical, so you can understand the impact of programmatic changes.


Automating Network Management

The main challenge is being able to move today’s management practices into the automation realm. We must be able to understand what impact an application requesting resources from an SDN will have on performance. SDN creates the need to replicate traditional functions of capacity planning, monitoring, troubleshooting, security, and other critical management capabilities.

It’s less a question of needing to develop brand new ways to manage networks, but more about adapting what we know are good, robust network management techniques.

For example, route analytics is proven to improve availability and performance in the traditional network with real-time, network-wide visibility into topology details, routing events and traffic patterns. This is directly applicable to SDN, because successfully monitoring and managing SDN applications requires always-current network models and traffic load profiles as well as the ability to predict the impact of change to network routing topologies and traffic flows.

In addition, route analytics can take advantage of the unique application insight found in SDNs, with network diagnosis, analysis and reporting that is application-aware. For instance, it can report whether the application’s servers are best positioned to serve that application’s user base.All this requires more detailed and sophisticated analysis of what’s happening in the network. Vendors and the SDN community at large are mostly ignoring SDN analytics, which are crucial for

Resource: Cengiz Alaettinoglu in Information it network

[SCRAP] SDN Growth

The global Software Defined Networking (SDN) market size was valued at USD 474.2 million in 2015. SDN entails the separation of the forwarding plane from the control plane in network architecture, which helps in the effective data flow control and provides network administrators with a software-based approach to manage the network. In comparison to the SDN that offers a centralized controller, in the traditional network architectures, each network device needs to be configured separately. As a result, there exists a high degree of dependency on the vendor-specific tools and instructions. Since SDN promotes flexibility and scalability in the network, along with helping streamline operations, it is increasingly being used by enterprises, telecom service providers, and cloud providers, among others.


Global software defined networking market, by services, 2014 – 2024 (USD Million)SDN Growth.png

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and cloud service providers have been garnering an increasing subscriber base since the majority of the population globally uses mobile devices. This trend is particularly prevalent in the emerging nations, which have witnessed a high demand for mobile phones, tablets, and mobility based devices, among others. The service providers need to ensure that their network is capable of handling the burgeoning number of users, which is made possible by SDN. Therefore, the growing need and demand for mobility are the key driving forces for the industry growth.

The SDN adoption has also been increasing in campus and enterprise segment as the demand for the efficient and flexible networks is high. SDN solutions, in conjunction with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and open source technologies, are anticipated to gain traction in the industry. There has also been a growing interest and adoption in the data centers around the world as the demand for network management is high in the data center infrastructure. All these factors are creating an environment that is conducive to the industry growth.

Additionally, SDN facilitates the establishment of an efficient network and ensures virtualization, cloud services, agility, and so on, which is expected to propel the SDN market growth. The lack of standardization in the implementation and utilization of the technology may act as a restraint to the demand in the coming years.


End Use Insights

Enterprises are expected to remain the largest end-user segment over the forecast period; it accounted for over 42.8% of the global revenue in 2015. The key factors fueling the SDN adoption in the enterprise space include enhancing the overall infrastructure flexibility along with the need to reduce the time-to-market of various applications and services. In order for SDN to be deployed across the enterprise, it is crucial to ensure the complete knowledge of the implementation.

Telecommunications service providers are expected to be the fastest-growing segment at an estimated CAGR of 43.3% from 2016 to 2024. An increasing amount of stress on the existing telecom infrastructure and need to shape and control data traffic is fueling the telecommunication segments growth in the market.


Services Insights

The demand for agile, cost effective and efficient services is growing in the market as an increasing number of organizations shift toward virtualized environments. Managed services is the single, most dominant segment in the industry owing to the fact that they reduce complexity and offer lower costs to service providers. The emergence of software defined datacenter and hyper-convergence platforms may drive the market growth in the coming years.

An increasing number of organizations are opting for managed network functions such as traffic engineering, network analytics, and service optimization which is set to drive the demand growth. In addition, as the SDN technology is still in its evolving stage, the services sector will witness greater adoption than individual solutions in coming years.


Application Insights

SDN solutions are being adopted by numerous different industries to enhance their network capabilities. As the solutions offer CAPEX and OPEX cost-reducing capabilities to many organizations, its demand is anticipated to be high in the coming years. The IT and telecom industries led the market in terms of size whereas the consumer goods segment is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment.

As an increasing number of organizations move to the web-based applications and services, the need for better network architecture is eminent Low operational costs, holistic infrastructure management, abstraction and integration with cloud are some of the major factors contributing to the increasing adoption of software defined networking in diverse applications.


Resource: Grand View Rearch