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The benefits of Software Defined Network for Cloud Computing

The benefits of Software Defined Network for Cloud Computing

ID-10024975Software-defined networking (SDN) is an umbrella term covering several kinds of network technology aimed at making the network as agile and flexible as the virtualized server and storage infrastructure of the modern data center.

The goal of SDN is to allow network engineers and administrators to respond quickly to changing business requirements. In a software-defined network, a network administrator can shape traffic from a centralized control console without having to touch individual switches, and can deliver services to wherever they are needed in the network, without considering what specific devices a server or other device it is connected to.

Basically, SDN makes the network programmable by separating the control plane from the data plane, and it relies on switches that can be programmed through an SDN controller using an industry standard control protocol, such as OpenFlow.

SDN – the solution for cloud service providers

If you are a cloud service provider and want to ensure customers can move their virtualized workloads without requiring much planning, SDN may be the solution. SDN not only reduces the complexity seen in today’s networks, but also helps Cloud service providers host millions of virtual networks without the need for common separation isolation methods such as VLAN. SDN also enables network administrators to manage network services from a central management tool by virtualizing physical network connectivity into logical network connectivity.

Here are some specific benefits SDN can offer, especially for cloud service providers:

  • Cost reduction – SDN does not require a huge investment. There are even a few SDN products that are free. And while you’ll need to pay a license fee for some SDN solutions such as VMware’s NSX, there are a few that ship with the operating system itself, including Microsoft’s Hyper-V Network Virtualization. And since SDN supports Layer 1 through Layer 3 networking models, there’s no need to buy expensive networking devices.
  • Intelligent global connections – SDN can create very intelligent and globally connected environments, while helping with load-balancing cloud and datacenter infrastructures. SDN already provides global traffic management by sending traffic to appropriate data centers based on network logic. Moving forward, SDN will allow architects to create even more fluid automation for data center traffic flow. Efforts like this of will help reduce downtime, increase data resiliency, and make disaster recovery planning more effective.
  • Granular security – Virtualization has made network management more challenging, and it’s more and more difficult to consistently apply firewall and content filtering policies. When you add in complexities such as securing BYOD devices, the security problem is intensified. The SDN Controller provides a central point of control to distribute security and policy information consistently throughout the enterprise.
  • Reduced downtime – Since SDN helps in virtualizing most of the physical networking devices, it becomes easy to perform an upgrade for one piece rather than needing to do it for several devices. SDN also supports snapshotting the configuration, which helps you quickly recover from any failures caused by the upgrades.

The specific advantages of software defined networking will vary from network to network, but there are benefits from network abstraction and the agility it offers for network administration and automation. Software defined networking isn’t the right approach for every network environment, but when there are clear benefits, SDN could be just the solution to optimize your business.

Photo source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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