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The world of technology is constantly advancing, and the tools we use are always changing. If this isn’t your field of expertise, it can be difficult to keep up with all the modern tools. Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the advances that many people still do not completely understand. In an effort to make sure that you are taking advantage of all the best tools available for your workplace, we have assembled a list of FAQ about SDN and the benefits it offers:

  1. What is SDN and what does it do?
    You might have heard about the process of virtualization and tools like hypervisors, SDN operates much the same way. It is a network infrastructure where software is inserted as a sort of filtering screen between the physical network components and the network administrators. This filter allows administrators to make changes to network settings without actually having to get manual access to hardware like network devices. 
  2. What does SDN decoupling hardware from software mean?
    This gets into a more detailed view of the whole process. In networking devices, there are two primary planes. One is the control plane which determines where network traffic is sent. The other is the data plane where the actual data is transferred according to what the controls tell it to do. In an SDN, these two areas are disconnected from one another. The data transferring area remains, but the controls and decisions are now performed through the software. This disconnection allows for virtualization because you no longer have to rely on physical hardware switches. 
  3. How does this help me?
    Our operations and the functions of the workplace are becoming more digital. Tools like cloud-computing are requiring faster response times from your network and more flexible infrastructure. Software-based networks can be a significant boon to large enterprises with wide-area networking (WAN). Software-defined WAN uses virtualization and automation to lighten the load of configuring and managing adjustments across an entire network. This ramps up response time from your network resources. 
  4. What are some of the other benefits of SDN?
    The software that supports SDN is often less expensive than the hardware that it is replacing. The life cycle of software like this is usually longer than hardware that you would have to upgrade at some point as well. SDN is also an open-source product, this means that it is vendor agnostic and can work with almost any vendor’s network hardware.
    In addition, SDN offers more detailed control of your security precautions. With so many resources like the cloud and virtual machines in your SDN architecture, it can become difficult to apply precise and accurate security features like firewalls and content filters. SDN controllers let you centralize your security options and have total network control from one console.
  5. Why is it taking a long time for businesses to adopt SDN? 

Like a lot of new technology, it is taking time for people to understand what it is and the ways it can help them. As long as business leaders and decision-makers don’t have a better understanding of the advantages, then it is going to continue taking time to replace traditional networks.

SDN is a whole new view of the networking process. It offers many benefits, but it is going to take effort to educate people on the better points of network managers like this. California Telecom is here to answer your questions and offer our recommendations for the best tools for your business.