SDN represents a seismic shift in the field of enterprise network management, offering digital-first companies the agility, cost-efficiency, and performance they need to disrupt.
As recently as a few years ago, “software-defined networking” (SDN) seemed like just another ephemeral IT buzzword — here one day, gone the next. But today, it’s become clear that SDN is here for the long haul. More than a buzzword thrown about the water cooler, it’s come to constitute a real step forward in the way networking is done.
Forecasts project the SD-WAN market (SDN + wide area network) to grow 59% annually over the next four years, reaching a market valuation of $1.3 billion. Digital-first companies are winning in practically every sector of the marketplace, and their networking needs run counter to those of legacy organizations and their slow, static, centralized structures. Players in the digital-first space like Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix need agility, flexibility, scalability, speed, and efficiency, all assets that conventional network architectures were not built to provide.
As digital-first organizations continue to eat everyone else’s lunch, legacy operations will have to make retroactive adjustments to keep pace. SDN will continue to grow from the already-viable solution that it is today into the de facto standard for enterprise networking, due in large part to its ability to deliver the following benefits:
In the era of BYOD and remote employees, workforces are increasingly mobile, and spread across multiple locations and devices. SDN enables IT managers to control what accounts and devices can access business-critical cloud and SaaS-based applications. Since user and device access can be managed remotely, SDN allows on-demand access where and when it’s needed.
SDN enables intelligent, automated, programmatic provisioning and resource allocation, a capability that allows you to dynamically prioritize business-critical applications and determine the optimal distribution of bandwidth across offices, users, and devices. Network traffic is routed with maximum efficiency, maximizing workforce productivity and reducing the need for redundant (and costly) network resources.
SDN enables IT managers to dynamically scale networks to meet their needs as they grow and evolve. On-demand access to cloud-based network infrastructure allows organizations to right-size their IT solution.
Abstracting the software pane from the underlying hardware layer makes IT management a whole lot simpler. IT teams can monitor, configure, and deploy enterprise-level networks to multiple users at disparate locations from one centralized dashboard, which not only saves time and money, but also streamlines the management process across networks and branches.
Traditionally, achieving enterprise-grade quality of service meant running and installing costly MPLS infrastructure. SDN allows IT managers to leverage regular broadband and convert it into a high-performance enterprise solution. Organizations already running on MPLS can deliver an automated and intelligent hybrid SDN by integrating broadband.
With remote, centralized, automated network controls, it’s faster for organizations to add and remove devices, users, and applications — regardless of their geographical distribution.
SDN presents a number of security challenges. While it has its upsides, many SDN providers don’t offer the enterprise security solutions that on-premise IT infrastructures do. Companies need to ensure that their SDN solutions either have baked-in intrusion prevention systems (IPS), content specific controls, URL filtering and anti-malware protection or can integrate with third-party security solutions that do.
As more enterprises adopt digital-first approaches to networking, and as workforces grow increasingly distributed, software-defined networks will continue to gain traction in the IT space. To avoid getting left in the dust by disruptive competitors, companies of all sizes should consider partnering with a networking and cloud security expert like Turn-key Technologies (TTI).
With a host of industry accolades and three decades of experience, TTI has the necessary expertise to help companies transition to next-generation networking solutions. In-house IT pros are often so often occupied with day-to-day operations and maintenance that they simply don’t have the bandwidth to manage overall IT performance. At TTI, we work hand in hand with these in-house teams to provide managed services that make their jobs easier and their networks better.
At TTI, we want all of our clients to reap the substantial rewards that SDN can provide. We’ll ensure your networks incorporate the network performance and security solutions needed to protect valuable business assets as you make the transition.
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