The rise of Software Defined Networking (SDN)

The amount of electronic devices we have in our lives is growing every day. Common household electrical appliances that once just had a single function are now becoming “smart”.  The fridge that used to simply keep your food cool, can now help you decide how to cook the  contents, provide recipe suggestions, and even turn […]

Softare Defined Networks - how this is changing our home and office The amount of electronic devices we have in our lives is growing every day. Common household electrical appliances that once just had a single function are now becoming “smart”.  The fridge that used to simply keep your food cool, can now help you decide how to cook the  contents, provide recipe suggestions, and even turn on your oven to pre-heat it for you.[1] Home devices will communicate with each other via wi-fi.  We are rapidly moving towards what is known as the “internet of things“.

It is not just at home that changes are happening, many workplaces now adopt a ‘bring your own device‘ policy – resulting in the need for more flexible but secure networks.

The constant increase in  network traffic, storage, flexibility and security requirements means our ageing network architectures need updating.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is the future

Software Defined Networking provides a network architecture that changes how we design, manage and operate a network so that any changes made to the network are practical and reliable.[2] This is achieved by decoupling the control pane (the system that makes decisions about where traffic is sent) from the data plane (the systems that forwards the traffic).[3] This allows a centralised controller to have a complete end-to-end view of an entire network, with knowledge of all network paths and device capabilities residing in a single application.[2]

This may seem a bit complicated but, simply put, SDN makes networks more dynamic and flexible by allowing changes to the “brains” of a network without impacting the underlying physical network; the part that moves data packets around. This separation makes any changes that are carried out relatively risk-free, therefore our networks of the future will be more reliable, less prone to outages and able to deal with much higher usage demands.

What does this mean for traditional network engineers?

There will still be a need for them to configure and maintain the vast networks of switches and routers around the world.  The same physical architecture will still be there. They will however need to accept that SDN is inevitable, and they will need to learn about it and keep up with the technology, otherwise there may well not be a role for them further down the line.[4]

At Grovelands, we work with an array of Managed Service Providers and Cloud Hosting Companies.  We are currently recruiting for a number of positions. If you would like to know more about any opportunities we have in this area, please get in touch.

Find out more

To find out more about Software Defined Networking – follow the links below:

[1] The smart fridge that tells you what to buy, cook and eat

[2] Software Defined Networking -10 easy steps 

[3] Wikipedia -Software Defined Networking

[4] SDN set to change the world of network professionals 

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