Over the years, running of networks has been such a complicated process, especially in circumstances marred with frequent network failures.
The management and administration protocols get even much more sophisticated for networks with no backup schemes within their architecture.
Nevertheless, the introduction of cloud computing technologies is dawning a new era onto the effortless administration of networking infrastructure, establishing a series of untangled network management solutions, among them, Software Defined Networking which lets applications manage network activities as opposed to the hardware engineering the whole platform.
SDN is an ultra-modern approach to the designing, implementing and managing of networks.
This new approach separates the network control and the forwarding processes; it distincts the routing and forwarding protocols of network segments.
Consequently, network control (control plane) only manages information related to logical network topology whereas the forwarding process (data plane) only administers the network’s traffic in relation to the established algorithms in the control plane, thereby collectively achieving an enhanced user experience.
As the years unfold, more enterprises are embracing some aspects of software defined networking.
A 2017 State of the Network Survey indicates that at least two thirds (75%) of enterprises have adopted some level of SDN.
The wide adaptation can be linked to numerous merits associated with software defined networking among them being:
Consolidated network management
With software defined networking, all the networking components can be managed via a single device.
The separation of the control plane and the data plane enables both the virtual and physical network modules to be controlled from a central device or location, leveraging a single set of APIs.
Consequently, network administrators can effortlessly manage loads of traffic by configuring network codes from one centralized controller, rather than grappling with multiple devices which is the experience while operating on a simple network management protocol (SNMP).
Intensified network visibility
The benefits of SDN and NFV is that they enable administrators to access all the components of a network via the visibility plane, giving them a solidified overview of the network’s traffic.
Resultantly, the network managers can easily identify and eliminate the existing network errors.
Furthermore, software defined networking plays a crucial role in handling and troubleshooting significant and sophisticated traffic flows experienced by a majority of networks leveraging big data; this is because the technology can be dynamically adjusted to the environment to cater for the immediate network needs.
Robust network security
The security benefits of software defined networking are far much extensive compared to traditional networking protocols.
Since SDN enables easy collection and analysis of network traffic, it makes it undemanding to identify and mitigate network threats.
In fact, the technology can eliminate over-reliance on human manpower in detecting security threats by automatically responding to various types of threats as specified algorithms that have been programmed to bar and isolate traffic based on security threats such as malware or network attacks.
Organizational Flexibility Hence Seamless Adaptability to Industrial Demands
Among the cons of software defined networking is its futuristic approach to networking.
With a business environment characterized by dynamic business goals and objectives, SDN has immensely provided a platform where businesses can effortlessly adjust to the required business changes by enabling rapid deployment of new and better services, infrastructure, applications, among several other related entities.
For example, with a witnessed growth in the ever-surging demand for systems that can be accessed from mobile devices, SDN has dispensed more resilience to organizations through streamlining access to cloud services.
A proactive approach to managing downtimes hence reliability
SDN focuses on automating the networking process consequently allowing for changes in the network to be carried out faster and more accurately without having to take the whole system down.
Since time immemorial, biased human interventions have been the main cause of dragged down times, a detriment which SDN is stepping in to eliminate by providing better visibility into the network.
Network administrators will not only have a better way of gauging the status of their infrastructure but also disentangle the identified bottlenecks before they comprise a whole networking system.
Lowered costs of installation and maintenance
Whereas the network hardware costs can average less than 15% of the overall amount required to run a data centre, the personnel obligated to run and maintain the data centre can demand more than 50% of the total cost needed to run the data centre.
With automation being the focal point of SDN, the networking personnel will not have to inspect device by device in search of faults in order to keep the system running.
While meeting customers’ needs by leveraging the cost-benefit of SDN, businesses therefore simultaneously slash their operational expenses thereby boosting profitability.
Despite the security benefits of SDN, the new networking technology that is quickly being embraced by many organizations equally present a security concern, as it provides a single point of failure majorly targeted by attackers.
To generate the highest value from the network with minimal rates of failure, SDN is nurturing the creation of robust infrastructure, applications, services, among a series of other related entities.
Seamless unification of cloud resources
As many enterprises target cloud computing to scale their services as well as make them more affordable and accessible to their clients, we cannot abate the fact that physical data centres lay the foundation on which the technology operates.
By managing the physical data centres from SDN controllers, it is thus easy to coalesce cloud resources, making software defined networking a key determinant in the cloud computing evolution.
Safer backtesting strategies
The traditional simple network management protocol (SNMP) poses a great challenge especially when it comes to experimenting with various network designs.
While safely backtesting an SDN application, identification of potential errors falls among the very first steps, which if identified are promptly fixed.
This gives room for running new network configurations in a more safer environment without many unforeseen failures which can sometimes be fatal.
Unparalleled end-user experience
In encapsulation, the ultimate goal of embracing software defined networking in designing, implementing, and managing networks, thereby achieving a smooth-running networking process that guarantees quality service delivery to the end-user.
For example, by directly automating data traffic, it is easier for a telecommunication company to persistently improve their voice and multimedia transmissions.