Due to rising amounts of traffic, data center professionals are looking for ways to optimize network bandwidth.
The large amount of externally produced Web-based information is bolstered by the rise of the Internet of Things and ubiquitous mobile connectivity. This growth has stressed traditional data transmission techniques that require hardware switches to work rapidly.
The software-defined solution
Arguably, the best way to mitigate this problem is to take manual surveillance out of the equation through software-defined networking. According to SDN Central, this technology centralizes the communications control plane, allowing network administrators to more easily prioritize server workloads in response to Web or cloud usage.
Essentially, all the hardware (routers, switches, etc.) can be controlled remotely, reducing the amount of time it takes to assess issues if any arise. Knowledge of SDN applications is growing in demand, prompting professionals specializing in the network sector of IT to enroll in certification courses.
A burgeoning industry
Virtualization Review referenced a study conducted by IDC, which predicts the SDN market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 89 percent over the next four years, reaching $8 billion. IDC provided a list of near-term use cases for the technology:
- Public cloud providers can scale their delivery services
- Networks can easily be programmed and customized
- Security tools are simpler to implement, as SDN provides greater flexibility
What IT trends are supporting this blossoming sector? The SDN concept originated from the prevalence of virtualization, which involves software provisioning servers so that one machine can physically host multiple applications, as opposed to just one each.
Why it's needed
Cloud services are quite prevalent in the modern era. Whether a business simply stores data in a remote environment or requires the flexibility of accessing applications wherever, whenever, the success of a cloud deployment partly depends on its connectivity.
"SDN is taking center stage among innovative approaches to some of the networking challenges brought about by the rise of the 3rd Platform, particularly virtualization and cloud computing," said IDC's Rohit Mehra, as quoted by Virtualization Review.
The "3rd Platform" Mehra refers to is the symbiosis of IoT, big data, cloud computing and other disruptive technologies that are changing priorities for IT teams all over the world. Not only are these innovations everywhere, but they're growing more affordable and easy to access.
That's why enterprises will soon need professionals well-versed in SDN technologies. The more applications a company accesses via the cloud, the more agile its network connection will need to be.