Virtualization Featured Article

SDN Moving Forward Despite 'Still Done Nothing' Joke

May 24, 2016

People sometimes joke that SDN stands for still done nothing, analyst Zeus Kerravala notes in a recent Network World piece, adding that organizations – particularly data center operators ­­– are proceeding cautiously with this high-stakes proposition.

But he goes on to explain that while there’s a fair amount of confusion, hype, and trepidation surrounding software-defined networking, there are also some actual implementations of SDN. And he offers a few snapshots of customer use cases of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure solution. Among those users are Cerner, Du, East Carolina University, Integra, Intuit, NTT Docomo, Pulsant, Sungard, Symantec, Woolworths, and several others.

Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure is a software-defined networking architecture that allows for automation, leverages policy, and allows for scalability and network visibility. In December Cisco added microsegmentation of physical applications and multivendor virtualized applications, and announced it was offering integration of Docker containers with its ACI.

Of course, Cisco – which many have argued has the most to lose from the move toward software-centric networking – is just one of many companies offering SDN-based solutions.

NEC Corp. and Netcracker Technology are also offering solutions in the network functions virtualization and SDN space. In fact, the companies earlier this month unveiled their Agile Virtualization Platform and Practice.

Meanwhile, Juniper Networks, an early SDN convert that acquired Contrail Systems in 2012, this April expanded the cloud and virtualized service offerings provided via its Software-Defined Secure Networks framework. That update includes the introduction of the cSRX, a containerized virtual firewall that provides Layer 4 through 7 microservices.

“We are in the midst of an IT evolution,” notes Frank Yue, director of application delivery solutions at Radware, in his upcoming July/August column for INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine. “Both IT organizations and vendors are implementing software-based solutions to replace their legacy hardware technologies. Software can adjust to changing network designs and conditions more easily and quickly compared to proprietary hardware-based solutions. Software-defined everything, or SDx, is becoming the model for next-generation network architectures and shifting networks toward flexibility and agility.” 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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