What Future SDN Holds for Ethernet in Data Centers

By CIOReview | Friday, March 31, 2017

Software-defined networking (SDN) is an ideal approach for networking applications that assist network administrators in making current architecture dynamic, adaptable, and cost-effective. SDN automates the network infrastructure, which decides the way in which information will travel from control plane to the data plane. Companies are increasingly using it in the data centers due to its cost-effective nature. SDN has tremendous impact on the prospects of Ethernet, which is the main technology for LAN’s in data centers.

Data centers have long been using ethernet as a core technology for fast transfer of data. Ethernet assists managers in consolidating the data center resources, conserving involved costs. By using Ethernet technology, data centers are easily providing connectivity and data transfers between main systems and users. However, Ethernet lacks the functionality of migration and visibility for virtual machines and there is no support for also. Advanced technologies like open source applications and SDN have emerged to enhance the flexibility and management of Ethe network virtualizationrnet for the data centers. SDN especially as a promising technology for Ethernet is revolutionizing the whole network infrastructure for data centers.

SDN has the ability to deliver faster IT infrastructure by using the agile delivery approaches. SDN decouples control plane from the data plane. The control plane manages devices in the network with the help of signaling. In SDN, this control layer is relocated into the software that network administrators can directly control to make vital decisions regarding traffic flow by analyzing the activity pattern and traffic type. SDN enables network administrators in shaping traffic without touching the network switches, so admins can set priority or even block particular packets. This process makes reconfiguring tasks easier in comparison to manual switching in Ethernet.

SDN is replacing the closed-code Ethernet switches and customizing data centers for the optimized and efficient operations. The new updates for the open source software and SDN applications can be used in the Ethernet switches to create a new line of open, flexible, and customizable solutions.

The SDN controller application enables dynamic, deterministic and on-demand services in accordance with the IT service-level agreements. Therefore, once SDN is integrated into Ethernet, it provides a flexible and agile network for dynamic bandwidth services and network virtualizations. The network optimization and increased network automation feature of SDN helps data center managers in reducing the total expenditure cost involved in the process. The integration of SDN and Ethernet not only helps data centers in decreasing the cost, but also assists in minimizing the risks. In addition, data center administrators are also empowered to customize Ethernet to suit the most demanding enterprise workloads, while enhancing the capability of managing burgeoning connectivity needs. Therefore, integration of Ethernet with SDN will provide highly reliable, high performance and carrier grade connectivity across the network to enable data center operators optimize the network to fulfill future bandwidth needs.