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Demystifying software-defined networking: four things every company needs to know before getting started

Justin Chiah, Head of Product Category, Networking, Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific and Japan | May 5, 2015
By taking the time to fully understand it and assess its suitability for your needs, you can use it to great effect and accelerate your business, says Justin Chiah of HP APJ.

3)  Why do you need it?
The amount of data your business generates is growing sharply. More information is being stored in the cloud. More bandwidth-intensive applications are being used. And as businesses embrace mobility along with these growing technologies, immense pressure falls on your network to provide the bandwidth to deal with them.

No business wants to be held back from improving their businesses by a legacy network. And it's a well-known fact that legacy networks can prevent businesses from being able to capitalise on the opportunities that today's technology offers them.

4) So how do you get started?
As a company investing in SDN, you need to start by looking at what you already have. Your network doesn't have to be 100% software-defined - it's only worth doing this where it makes sense. For example, when you need to prioritize certain kinds of data (voice or video) over others (email), and keep it all secure.

A move into SDN isn't about ripping and replacing your IT - most companies can't afford to entirely get rid of their existing architecture. You need to look at whether your existing equipment is ready to work alongside a software-defined addition.

Any company looking to delve into SDN should start by taking four simple starting steps:

  • Deploy SDN-enabled switches so you can move to SDN when you're ready.
  • Understand how SDN applications can enable your organization to deliver the business- service levels that your users expect.
  • Partner with an SDN vendor that provides open, scalable, and secure SDN solutions and simplifies the development of SDN applications.
  • Work with a partner that can help build a proof-of-concept test for SDN in your environment.

This will help you understand how network virtualization and automation can deliver higher service levels for your business.

Investing in SDN shouldn't be a quick decision - by taking the time to fully understand it and assess its suitability for your needs, you can use it to great effect and accelerate your business.

 

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