The need for greater agility and control in the networking realm in order to manage environments more effectively has produced evolutionary advances over the past few years. One such example is Software Defined Networking (SDN), which offers the next step in network traffic control, whereby software and policies are used to define consistent network behavior and responses, rather than individual hardware device.
For instance, SDN can direct network traffic to least-used resources in a load balancing arrangement so that
redundant systems can share workloads more effectively. This increases network and system response times and in turn can lead to better applications which are well-suited to utilize these advantages. In addition, SDN offers better scalability and the ability to control heterogeneous environments such as a local data center linked with cloud services.
The topic of SDN was covered in-depth on Tech Pro Research three years ago via a survey and subsequent research report. The report indicated that at least half of respondents had no knowledge of the topic of SDN, showing it was a burgeoning concept that hadn't reached all audiences. Other insights yielded by the report included:
The report also revealed that, "While providing much promise, SDN is largely suffering adoption woes because of large vendor indifference. Although this seems to be changing, it will be some time before organizations that tend to lag behind the cutting edge decide to add SDN to their annual project lists."
Tech Pro Research is revisiting the topic of SDN via a new survey to see how it has developed since 2013; who is using (or familiar) with it, which vendors are leading the pack, and what new details or perspectives may be shared. Please share your experiences on the topic.
Scott Matteson is a senior systems administrator and freelance technical writer who also performs consulting work for small organizations. He resides in the Greater Boston area with his wife and three children.