Software-Defined Networking: Adoption Update

How Does SDN Tie In with Hyper-Convergence?

Kurt Hildebrand

As you might imagine, software-defined networking (SDN) eliminates a lot of the routine maintenance and support that ties up IT resources. This gives an enterprise the opportunity to better think strategically, become more flexible and agile, and better leverage cloud applications and a converged infrastructure. Where are we with adoption? And what role is SDN playing in the hyper-converged trend? What do IT leaders need to know about this?

SDN is an approach to designing, deploying, and running networks based on programming the transport decisions in routers and switches via software from a central server. It differs from traditional approaches that require configuring each device separately. SDN streamlines provisioning of network services by allowing network administrators to manage network services through abstractions of higher-level functionality.

IDC predicts that the global market for SDN enterprise and cloud service provider segments will grow from $960 million last year to over $8 billion by 2018, an annual growth rate of nearly 90%. According to Rohit Metra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure for IDC.

“With SDN’s growing traction in the data center for cloud deployments, enterprise IT is beginning to see the value in potentially extending SDN to the WAN and into the campus to meet the demand for more agile approaches to network architecture, provisioning, and operations.”

SDN is being deployed aggressively in data centers to support automated provisioning, network virtualization, and network programmability. Other popular SDN use cases include unified wireless and wireless communications, virtual machine migration, cloud hosting, load balancing, and software-defined clouds. SDN allows centralized management of resources based on policies, therefore eliminating many of the routine operational maintenance tasks that have traditionally consumed the time of IT personnel.

Hyper-convergence combines computing, storage, networking, and management into an integrated system, providing all of the resources in one centrally managed location. The deployment of hyper-converged infrastructure with SDN is allowing the enterprise to simplify operations, eliminate dependence on legacy silos of independent IT components, and streamline the provisioning of resources to support emerging application requirements.

IT can dramatically reduce the number of devices in the data center, and leverage a higher-level abstraction layer to simplify network management and operations. The deployment of hyper-converged infrastructure also significantly reduces the overall port count to be managed in the data center, further simplifying SDN management and enabling more workloads to communicate over the lowest latency connections in the same compute host while reduce East-West traffic within the data center.

Connection offers a range of Data Center Services that can help you assess your SDN and hyper-convergence infrastructure options. Learn more about how our qualified experts can help you optimize your data center through our Network Infrastructure Assessments, Server Assessments, and Storage Assessments.