Learn about SDN – An Expert’s Point of View (3 min)
- Shamus McGillicuddy, Senior Analyst, EMA Research
How would you describe SDN in business terms?
- Early adopters say the #1 business benefit of SDN is improved end-user productivity. This means an improved user experience for customers and employees
- The #2 benefit is revenue growth. In part, enterprises recognize SDN’s ability to rapidly support new business models that emerge with digital transformation. Furthermore, enterprises listed “fluid network architecture” as the #2 defining characteristic of the SDN solutions they implement. This implies a flexible and agile infrastructure that can support new applications and services easily.
- In terms of business benefits, enterprises consider and rank reduced capex and opex lowest. They see other benefits as more significant. However, they do recognize that SDN can drive down costs. They list low-cost hardware as one of the three most defining characteristics of their implementation.
- Increased security and improved customer/brand loyalty and retention were also identified as top business benefits.
What did we learn from the Public Cloud?
- On-Demand and Self-service. One button carve-out for application usage.
- Scale out, building blocks.
- Cost, lower cost to deliver
- Easily supportable.
- Essentially, how to build a “Private Cloud”
What is the importance of having a network fabric?
A centralized controller is the number one defining characteristic of the SDN solutions early adopters are implementing. The controller is critical because it serves as a single control point for an entire network fabric.
- In fact, our research showed that a programmable control plane is a leading secondary defining characteristic of SDN. First they want that controller, then they want to be able to program the network through that controller, whether through APIs or a GUI interface.
- Pluribus’ fabric controller, for instance, makes all switches appear as one big logical switch. With centralized management and programmability.