The tech industry can be dazzling when it comes to using marketing wizardry to obscure clarity as to what IT assets managers really need to be both thinking about and doing. In the last several weeks, I have been fortunate to have moderated a series of webinars on the challenges of getting data centers and their associated networks optimized to provide maximum value now as well as being ready for the tumultuous changes that the future “data storm” portends.
We have touched upon the lack of readiness of current architectures due to their siloed natures, solutions for breaking down those silos and introducing flexibility that can accommodate an “E”vironment that is becoming more virtualized, applications-centric and mobility friendly. And, have touched upon the need to take a holistic approach that carefully orchestrates the path forward requirements and options for being optimally deployed. And, now it is time to as they say, “get to the brass tacks.”
It is for this reason that you are invited to join me for a webinar, SDN: Let’s Cut The Hype,What is the Reality?, to be held on November 1 at 11:00 AM EST. Joining me will be Zeus Kerravala, Affiliate, Yankee Group (News - Alert) and Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., Director Strategic Marketing, Network Business Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Our goal, as the title suggests, is to provide an honest assessment of where we are and what you need to consider to get to where you should/must go to optimize your ability to provide your enterprise the capabilities it needs to be successful.
The network cannot be over-emphasized
The reason to focus on the networking piece is that one of the realities is that it cannot be over-emphasized. Let’s be honest, if your network is not working the way it needs to be, neither is “E”verything else. Key to a happy networking and data center future is understanding all of the information and misinformation about Software Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow (the leading open standard SDN architecture). Both have received enormous attention, and as a result are as our presenters believe, “are surrounded by much confusion.”
Remember that silo issue noted above? In very large web-scale data centers SDN is the solution. They are a critical element in the construction of a complete end-to-end coordinated virtual architecture that allows applications and the network to collaborate in providing a high quality experience for users and enables optimization of resource consumption.
This is a case where network size will matter — especially for obtaining optimal performance in a world of elastic computing where expense is likely to be based on “pay-as-you-go,” and “pay-as-you-grow” principles as cloud-based XaaS solutions become the norm rather than the exception. In fact, the bottom line is that to fully benefit from the positive aspects of an SDN network, leveraging the value of OpenFlow features when embedded in commercial Ethernet switches, routers and wireless access point to facilitate a flexible approach to interoperation across the stack, requires a clear strategy for both the application and network infrastructure.
· What SDN is, and what it means for the enterprise-scale data centers
· Criteria you should use to evaluate when defining a strategy covering SDN principles for enterprise data center
· Best practice recommendations to benefit from SDN
I also highly recommend going to the OpenFlow website. Two invaluable white papers can get you ready not just for the webinar but for the future.
There is a certain irony that as the hot term in computer networking SDN is actually a case of back to the future. Today we categorize SDN based on its attributes of separating the control plane from the data plane in network switches and routers — where the control plane is implemented in software in servers separate from the network equipment and the data plane is implemented in the commercial network equipment. Its intrinsic value is in allowing:
· Quick experimenting and optimization of switching/routing policies
· External access to switch and routers capability that has been a closed shop
It is actually quite a bit more. It certain has come a long way from meaning basically the automation of the wide area network for enterprises looking to better manage their network services costs. Are we stuck in the bad part of the Gartner (News - Alert) Group lifecycle analysis of having reached the stage in the hype curve where users are disenchanted because of over-promising and under performance? Join us and judge for yourself.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo