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SDN: Just Simplify

May 11, 2016

Two top benefits of SDN and how they can be realized in your network.

SDN SimplifiedSDN offers a number of benefits to those who implement and deploy it. Out of the many, two are especially noteworthy: reduced operational costs and reduced network complexity. The acceleration of IoT and the introduction of 5G will increase the complexity of the network. Addressing these trends will also require additional network management, increasing operational costs. The answer is simple; it’s time to begin migrating to SDN.

SDN centralizes and automates many routine network administration tasks, freeing up network operators’ time while reducing operational costs. Administrators gain the ability to have greater control over their network infrastructure with SDN, leading to better customization and optimization, and further decreasing OpEx as well.

On top of this, SDN abstracts the network (especially important for the diversity of IoT subnets) and introduces programmability to the network. This makes networks viewable as communication fabrics, allowing for easier management and control, and less complexity. As stated in the ONF SDN definition, SDN “decouples the network control and forwarding functions enabling the network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted for applications and network services.” With SDN, networks in turn become simplified.

In order to attain the two benefits detailed above, it’s important to understand how to effectively migrate to SDN and to decide which aspects of your network to migrate first, especially in a brownfield environment. To achieve SDN success, and reap the benefits, you must carefully plan ahead. Having a comprehensive “plan of attack” for your SDN migration is key to becoming fully integrated. Take a look at our blog post outlining the four initial steps you need to take for SDN success, as well as our specification paper “Migration Use Cases and Methods” from our technical library for more information.

As networks become larger and more intricate, using SDN to reduce operational costs and complexity will be ideal and necessary for businesses. SDN can also enable companies to offer new services faster for greater marketplace differentiation. Stay tuned – a blog post about this business benefit of SDN is coming in a couple of weeks!

- Dan Pitt, Executive Director

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Dan Pitt