mercredi 9 avril 2014

11 Tips to Prepare for SDN

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Making the leap to SDN? Don't jump in blind. It helps to know what software-defined networking is, first off, and then what it can do for you.

 , Thu, March 13, 2014

Network World — Making the leap to SDN? Don't jump in blind. It helps to know what software-defined networking is, first off, and then what it can do for you.
Then it's smart to know all the inner workings of an SDN controller, the differences between products offered by established vendors and start-ups, and whether open source and bare metal switching might be an option. Lastly, learn your own network -- will it even support SDN or require a wholesale rip-and-replace? -- and then learn from your peers about their experiences. Here's an 11-tip guide on how to prep for SDNs:
1) Educate yourself on it: Many organizations still do not know what software-defined networking is, what it's comprised of, and how they might benefit from it. It's obvious, but familiarity is the first step to understanding how SDN can help or hinder your enterprise network (check out our SDN Primer). Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon Web Services regularly tout the benefits and steer the standards work, but those organization are not the mainstream; they are on the bleeding edge of everything in compute and networking. Read up on the various flavors and iterations of SDN, what's new, what's old, etc. You may even come up with your own definition.
2) Know what you want to do: Goldman Sachs wants open standards, commodity scale architectures, independent and programmatic data and control planes, virtualized Layer 4-7 services, merchant this, open source that... Pretty much the whole ball of wax across all of its networks. SDN was targeted initially at the data center but now the enterprise WAN is a prime focus for the automation and orchestration benefits of SDN. Do you want a centralized or distributed control plane? Why or why not? Some of the more compelling SDN applications are analytics and packet monitoring -- TAP -- due to SDN's ability to rapidly steer traffic with just a few mouse clicks. Orchestrating and automating the network through software can save on capital and operational expenses as well, proponents say. Determine what your goal or objective is with SDN and implement accordingly, yet prudently, gradually.
3) Consider security implications: Centralizing all control of the SDN may make life easier for the network operator; but it may also offer a single point of catastrophic failure or attack for a hacker or malicious content. How would a controller deal with outages that require re-routing of traffic? If a hacker gains control of your controller, could that intruder bring your network to its knees? (MORE:Is SDN your Next Security Nightmare?)

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