Software Defined Infrastructure-Trend or technology movement?

By CIOReview | Monday, September 4, 2017

Software-defined networking is continually changing. With the goal to allow network engineers and administrators respond quickly to changing business requirements, SDN provides capabilities that shape network traffic from a centralized consol, bypassing the need to configure individual switches. This lets services to be delivered where and when they are needed, with less room for human mistakes. SDN is a technical need today for companies to build a new infrastructure design that can effectively meet the customer needs. Companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook that can control more data flow than ever possibly compared with any other company were not able to handle the amount of traffic with standard architecture that most of the companies deploy today. The storage capacity and the compute capacity needed by these companies are huge.

SDN in Mainstream

No matter how extraordinary is an SDN infrastructure is, but there are still certain doubts of it being a mainstream for an average IT professional. SDN is on a trapeze of disillusionment due to the result of too much marketecture and not enough real-world implementations. The estimated SDN enterprise deployments are fewer than 2000. Analyzing if SDN is right for the network or not can be a challenging task especially if it is an average sized organization. For the companies that donot have extreme volume of data traffic like Googles and Amazons, SDN is not a technology, just a trend.

While it may only be a trend at the moment, there is no denial that the SDN is making its mark on the industry. Whether the companies fall into the political or technological train of thought in favor of SDN, or if the companies are to believe it’s a trend that will only impact a small percentage of large-scale enterprises, SDN will definitely end-up benefitting all the market players in some or the other way. Perhaps, the most exciting thing about SDN is the result of its deployment that fits one full size. Furthermore, the automation of the processes and the configuration is what all the companies can make good use of.

Software-defined Storage (SDS)

SDS is the key component of software-defined data centers, as lot of vendors work hard to build SDS-based storage products that can live up to the expectations of the users. In most of the cases, proprietary storage systems have embraced the uniqueness and the custom parts of SDS, but the approach did not work for far too long as the usage of commodity hardware became more robust. This made the modern storage options less expensive than the provided systems with the lesser features.

User self-service is one of the topic these days. That’s partially due to the ease by which business units can get their needs met with a credit card and a cloud service. These expectations are forcing IT departments to deploy systems that help business units achieve lower time-to-value for new services, requiring a self-service portals. These kinds of portals, however, depend entirely on being able to interact with the data center’s software layer. The portal sends direction to the software layer about what users have asked for and carries out those instructions, within the confines of policies established by the IT organization. The more resources that exist in software, the more flexible and user-centric/business-centric the IT department can be.

As software-defined everything continues to gain momentum and as these self-service orchestration systems mature and become even more tightly coupled to the software layer, IT can more easily transition itself from a department that is constantly iterating the same rote tasks to a department that acts as a broker of services for the organization and that is far more focused on the business rather than on the underlying bits and bytes of the data center.