As 2013 winds down and many take time to reflect on the things that mean most to them, it’s only fitting to check the pulse of progress on the software-defined networking (SDN) front as well. For all that has been said about software defined networking and network virtualization, one thing is certain: Networks are evolving to become as fluid and responsive as cloud applications need them to be, and the shifts in operational mindset that embody SDN have been translated to technologies that can be put to the test in real environments. 2013 was a year in which talk of network virtualization yielded to considerable action. A variety of SDN solutions was brought to market, addressing key issues from IT-centric and network-centric vantage points, for datacenter and wide area network environments. The network virtualization discussion evolved from “if” to “where first,” and from OpenFlow and encapsulation options to the needs of hybrid environments and the relative merits of overlay and underlay approaches.
That said, SDN still remains largely in the eye of the beholder. It means many things to many people, putting the onus on potential adopters to pause and digest what is really applicable to their environments. The notions of policy-based network automation and application-friendly abstraction of network resources are compelling, as are open and hybrid environments that foster innovation and prevent lock-in. But how will systems and ecosystems integrate and interwork to ensure that the operational and economic benefits are realized?
With ample progress already made on key technical issues and implementation alternatives, what stands to accelerate SDN adoption is greater clarity and confidence. Specific use cases for network virtualization in enterprise and cloud service provider environments that show what is possible. After all, our customers aren’t looking to buy network virtualization or SDN; they are looking to solve specific problems within specific environments to achieve quantifiable benefits in the eyes of specific stakeholders within their companies.
So what does the landscape of product implementations look like today? And where do available solutions fit in the scope of what different enterprise, service provider and cloud environments demand?
Well, one thing we can be thankful for this Turkey Day is that SDxCentral has recently published a comprehensive Network Virtualization report. In their report, Roy Chua and team have laid out a comprehensive view of the landscape and a snapshot of where things stand in the network virtualization journey. Please join us on December 5 as Roy shares a summary of the findings in a webinar. Those who do join us will also receive an abridged executive version of the report compliments of Nuage Networks.
So as you get ready to overindulge in turkey and celebrate all that we have to be thankful for, make sure you register for this webinar, and lets not forget what Dad always said: Make sure your underlays are clean, and never leave the house without your overlays… It’s cold out there.