Open networking requirements
So how do the changes in IT organizations (e.g. DevOps) and the rise of open source impact the way networks are built and operated? To start, networks must continue to be highly reliable, deliver increasingly high performance (e.g. 10GB, migrating to 100GB), scale to thousands of links, and provide low latency as required. Networks must efficiently link thousands of VMs or containers within a data center, rapidly move vast amounts of data from data center to data center, and securely link thousands of remote locations/users to the data center, Internet and public cloud.
The key change in network requirements is that they must now also be open standards-based, programmable, agile and adaptive. DevOps teams (not just experienced networking professionals) should be able to quickly and easily design, install and manage networks that meet the specific requirements of their unique application environment. Networks must be compatible with the latest Linux-based based development tools and abandon the clumsy, command line interfaces (CLIs) of the past.
Recommendations for IT leaders
Now is the time to re-examine traditional IT organizational structures and move toward a cloud-oriented, DevOp-based IT model. This transformation will take time, may be challenging, and will clearly impact the way networks are built and managed. Recommendations for IT leaders include:
- Develop your talent internally by creating cross-functional teams.
- Be flexible, processes and applications are likely to change as you gain experience.
- Leverage IT business leader-run organizations such as ONUG and other standards initiatives to help you choose from the plethora of networking standards.
The time is right for SDN to bring together vendors, large buyers and new governance models to provide an open network software framework to drive the industry forward.
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