The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that the global market for software-defined networking (SDN) will grow from $960 million in 2014 to more than $8 billion in 2018. That’s an annual growth rate of 89 percent.

Why should you care about those statistics? The traditional networking model is quickly becoming unsustainable, and SDN represents a major shift in how corporate networks are being designed and managed. While traditional networks are not in danger of suddenly becoming obsolete, organizations need to understand how SDN works and recognize that a new approach to networking may be required to stay competitive.

What is SDN?

Traditionally, IT would have to go through the tedious process of manually configuring individual switches and routers based on vendor protocols in order to control how data packets are routed. SDN is an approach to networking in which control of network policies and resources are decoupled from hardware and centrally defined and managed with software through a single SDN controller. Because of the open-source nature of the controller, organizations can utilize cheaper, commodity hardware from multiple vendors without compromising performance.

SDN allows administrators to control network traffic and the delivery of applications and services at a very granular level from one management interface instead of having to physically touch individual devices. Policies can be changed quickly and easily to manage traffic loads, automatically reallocate network resources, and add devices as business needs change. As a result, SDN provides organizations with the flexibility and agility to respond to market conditions and customer needs while dramatically improving management efficiency.

Why SDN?

IT is being increasingly relied upon to support business operations and develop services that boost productivity and produce revenue. However, the complexity of network infrastructure and the resources required to maintain that infrastructure are forcing innovation to the backburner while IT focuses on keeping the lights on. Managing, provisioning and deploying physical devices takes far too long, even in a virtualized environment. At the same time, big data is causing serious bandwidth and storage issues. SDN is capable of automating the management, provisioning and optimization of network resources, enabling IT to focus more time on strategic initiatives.

IPC Technologies is closely monitoring the evolution of software-defined networking and has a proven track record of success completing advanced network deployments. Contact us to find out if you should start planning for SDN based upon your business needs and objectives.