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SDN Migration. Taking Flight.

Mar 16, 2015

Dan Pitt discusses the path to a smooth SDN migration.  

My most recent contributed article for Light Reading discusses the key questions and steps to take for a smooth migration path to SDN. Below is an excerpt from that piece, and the full article can be found here.

Open SDN is widely accepted by the networking industry as the way to transform enterprise, data center, carrier and campus networks. Potential benefits for enterprises considering SDN migration include simplifying networks, reducing operating costs and tying networks more closely to business objectives.

For telecom service providers, the biggest potential benefit is the rapid introduction of new services. However, making the transition to SDN modifies the way that networks operate, demands new skills from network managers and offers no guarantee that things will run smoothly at the outset. A poorly planned transition can lead to network outages, impaired monitoring and fault management systems, or, most detrimental of all, stalled or failed migration.

A carefully considered, holistic approach to the transition will ensure a seamless migration of existing services (with zero or minimal disruption) and create greater overall business value for network users in terms of technical, operational, and ROI benefits.

Throwing out existing equipment is a non-starter. Rather, in order for operators to migrate to SDN, they need a sensible plan. To assist in this transition, the Migration Working Group at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has explored a variety of SDN use cases in order to develop a collection of methods, metrics, tools and best practices to help companies migrate to pure software-defined networks based on the OpenFlow® protocol.

Some key questions that should be considered to guide the initial stages of the transition include:

  • What are my goals for migrating to open SDN?
  • What are the initial steps I should take to achieve my goals for SDN?
  • What are my migration options?
  • How have others performed the migration, and how different from their strategies is my current SDN migration plan?

To find out the key steps for a successful migration, read the complete article on Light Reading here.

- Dan Pitt, Executive Director

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