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Software-Defined Networking: What Can it Do for Your Business?

Software-defined networking (SDN), which, according to some, is moving from early adopter to early mainstream status, is “the physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, and where a control plane controls several devices.”

From a networking standpoint, there are some excellent benefits that come out of SDN. This emerging technology is easily manageable, highly adaptable, and very cost-effective. It is an ideal component for today’s internet uses—websites, apps, and streaming content—which are typically high-bandwidth, responsive, and dynamic. According to OpenNetworking.org, SDN eliminates the bond between 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.”

How can SD-WAN help your business?

SDN solutions are particularly applicable to business IT needs, especially SD-WAN. What is SD-WAN? According to SDX Central, “The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a specific application of software-defined networking (SDN) technology applied to WAN connections, which are used to connect enterprise networks—including branch offices and data centers—over large geographic distances.”

So, if your business has several offices across a specific region, many offices within a single country, or even multiple offices around the world, SDN technology applied to your business’ WAN allows you to communicate and store data in a faster and more secure fashion than ever before. What are some specific ways software-defined networking can benefit your business?

• SDN gives you control right when you need it. You will be able to easily change and manage network services to empower applications on demand. For example, if you need to launch a new sales push or manufacturing project, you could do this nearly instantly with software already in place. This maximizes performance and minimizes the amount of time needed to get employees and systems up-to-speed.
• SDN provides improved security. If your network is attacked, it is much easier for your service provider to roll out updates and isolate potentially devastating malware, viruses, and hacking attempts. Because your system is software-centric, your network security can be increased almost immediately allowing you to continue operating without going offline because of an attack. The success of businesses today often rises and falls on availability. If people can’t get to you, they will go somewhere else.
• SDN allows you to simplify your network hardware and keep fewer vendor contracts. All network-related functions become streamlined, allowing you to save money and time.
• SDN allows you to decrease the amount of money spent on networking equipment because you won’t have to purchase proprietary hardware.
• SDN allows for extreme customization. Now, you won’t be bound by the manufacturer’s default settings. You’ll be able to customize your network—including modems, routers, and firewalls, the way that is best for your business. You can tailor each device and application the way that best meets the needs of your company. Now, you never have to feel “stuck” with a manufacturer’s product when your business demands something different.

Software-defined networking allows you to centralize and simplify control of network management. With big data and virtualization being the wave of the future for business marketing and communications, SDN can help your enterprise achieve your goals.

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