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Demand to Merge Physical and Virtual Environments Creating Opportunities in SDN

December 21, 2015

The concept of transformation in the business environment is exciting for some and anxiety creating for others. The former may see the opportunity in the shift while the latter sees the potential for failure and the general apprehension the workforce may have regarding change. Regardless of where you land in the spectrum, transforming network infrastructure is a common trend as companies embrace cloud computing, virtualization and the death of legacy systems.

To help the enterprise embrace this trend, Pluribus Networks has announced an upgrade to its software defined networking (SDN) technology offerings through the introduction of a new architectural approach known as Virtualization-Centric Fabric (VCF) designed for use in its Netviser OS for open switches. According to this Virtualization Review post, this technology enables Netvisor to unify virtual and physical networks.

With VCF, virtualized connectivity is maintained throughout the fabric regardless of the number of components in use. It features Virtual Port (vPort) and Virtual Network (vNet) segmentation, thereby allowing for the combination of virtual and physical components into virtual networks. In effect, it’s creating the perfect environment for transforming network infrastructure. Advanced applications can take advantage of the fabric as a single entity thanks to the virtual fabric API. Fabric-wide command line interfacing ensures interactions from any point will span the entire system.

The demand to run the physical and virtual networks as one is growing as companies continue to see the separation as their primary pain point in transforming network infrastructure into a seamless operation. As users begin to form private clouds, the pain point is amplified and drives the need for a modification to the architecture of installed OSes on switches. This allows for a closer match to the approached used in server virtualization, allowing for application to business processes to better meet business needs.

Such benefits are helping to drive the demand for SDN technology in data centers and enterprise LANs. Spending for SDN technology specifically is expected to nearly double from 2014 to reach beyond the $1.4 billion mark, according to data from Infonetics. The enterprise LAN SDN and data center market is expected to be solidified by the end of 2016 as live production deployments take the place of lab trials. By 2017, SDN is expected to move from early adopters into the mainstream.

"New SDN use cases continue to emerge, and the first half of 2015 was no exception with the establishment of the software-defined enterprise WAN (SD-WAN) market. The SD-WAN market is still small, but many startups and traditional WAN optimization appliance vendors and network vendors have jumped in," said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at Infonetics.

As a result, those companies looking at transforming network infrastructure have great options from which to choose, no matter their level of anxiety or excitement. With an opportunity to merge the physical and virtual environments that anxiety is sure to be replaced with anticipation for great things to come. 

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