Analyst Report: Agility and programmability of SDN-powered distributed networking

Analysis

Software defined networking (SDN) has taken hold with network architects and IT managers. Its vibrant ecosystem consists of both startups and incumbent vendors with a variety of products and platforms using controllers and applications that focus on the data center and bring the virtual and physical networks together.

This report, which examines some of the benefits of SDN architectures as a solution, also focuses on the value proposition of automating network operations: better business control, improved network visibility, and faster service operation.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • Existing networking architectures have inherent limitations in their design.
  • The real business value in SDN networking is derived from the application software that taps into the new capabilities the network controller enables.
  • SDN, which consists of many technologies, products, and platforms, focuses on managing flow state in the network via programmable interfaces.
  • Two business outcomes from new data methods are visibility and the rise of network analytics.
  • SDN solutions that focus on a centralized-controller design offer a low-cost and fast software development process, but have issues that impact customer networks.
  • Distributed SDN offers greater technology and business features than those of centralized SDN. It has three key advantages: load sharing, network design simplification, and single-operational interface. The distributed SDN model is further optimized when based on a server-switch architecture.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Vertigo3d/iStock.

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. The limits of current networking architecture
  3. Software-defined networking basics
  4. Network protocols in the SDN world
  5. The advantages of distributed SDN
  6. Conclusion and key takeaways
  7. About Greg Ferro
  8. About Gigaom Research

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