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December 13, 2012

Software-defined Networking is the Future of Intelligent Networks

Networks are under great demand to transport dynamic content with the same speed and reliability as traditional content. Video is becoming the tool of choice not only for entertainment, but also for businesses that rely on face-to-face applications like the new generation of teleconferencing services, and more.

A new report from Ovum (News - Alert) highlights the obvious evolution networks have to make if they want to keep up with the dynamic content consumers and business expect and demand. Software-defined networking or SDN gives control to software application, and for this reason it is sometimes referred to as the Cisco (News - Alert) Killer – but currently Cisco and VMWare are jockeying for the top SDN market.

Traditional networks send packets based on rules in the firmware, where it treats all the packets the same way. ASICs or application-specific integrated circuits are available but they are too costly and only reserved for large enterprise that can afford the price.  

SDN on the other hand allows network administrators to control or shape the traffic without having to adjust individual switches. The rules of the network switch can be adjusted, stopped and prioritized at the smallest level. This flexibility gives network administrators the ability to manage traffic loads more efficiently than ever before. SDN will make it possible to use less expensive hardware, give more control remotely and support multi-vendor hardware and application specific integrated circuits.

The report revealed flat architectures, virtualized application software and programmable network infrastructure is the choice being favored by organizations.

The principal analyst of Ovum’s Network Infrastructure Telecoms team, David Krozier said, “SDN has already had a major impact on the communication industry by providing a focal point for a revitalized interest in networking. SDN provides an opportunity to completely reexamine network architectures, introduce virtualization, and provide truly innovative solutions.”

Applying SDN will give the network the ability to adapt dynamically allowing it to choose the best connectivity services for the application that is being used. Krozier pointed out, “It’s too early in the evolution of SDN to draw conclusions about which approach will win or the exact architecture of future networks as there is too much innovation yet to happen, and vendors and their customers have yet to reach a common agenda.”

Networks are looking for platforms that don’t rely on hardware, and they are willing and anxiously waiting for the day when they can completely decouple from the hardware driven networks they are stuck with.




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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