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Software is Going to Define the Network: Swapna Bapat, Brocade India

Sejuti Das | June 29, 2016
Swapna Bapat, Director for Systems Engineering, Brocade India believes that the biggest challenge with SDN, are the misconceptions organizations associate with it.

SDN has an issue of centralizing the control of the organizations' network, which means a single point of failure. Another challenge is the legacy infrastructure on which SDN is laid out leading to under-utilization of the functionalities that SDN offers. What are your views on these?

Specific areas of networking innovation over the last couple of years include centralized control, programmability, orchestration and virtualization. Classified broadly under the heading of SDN,these innovations are meant to solve specific problems that businesses face as their virtualized infrastructures and cloud services push the boundaries of what their networks can deliver.

SDN aims to effectively program the network with software running on a central controller. With SDN, the separated control plane resides on a centralized controller that sees and knows all about the network, including where the hosts connect to the network and what the network topology connecting all of the hosts together looks like. An omniscient central controller allows network engineers to implement unique and flexible forwarding policies limited only by the ability of the software running on it.

How do you think Brocade Flow Optimizer will address the real-time network performance challenges of organizations?

Brocade Flow Optimizer is an SDN application that consists of an OpenDaylight-based controller that provides real-time policy-based management for network traffic flows. When coupled with Brocade MLXe routers, it enables service providers and enterprises to gain proactive insight into their network traffic, mitigate network attacks, and eliminate network congestion, with the ultimate goal of improving end user experience.

Brocade Flow Optimizer application also allows network managers to mitigate network flood attacks, throttle bandwidth intensive workloads, reprioritize rogue traffic, and redirect suspicious activity for further analysis.

The application is a prime example of a solution that helps IT and telecom managers to more effectively optimize their networks. Ultimately, this enables them to deliver a better overall user experience, implement cost controls, and enhance revenue initiatives.

In India, what do you think has been stopping SDN from going mainstream?

SDN was a relatively new term a year ago and the customers, while interested, preferred to adopt the wait-and-see approach. The industry's perspective towards software defined network requires not only network architecture change, but also business model and organizational changes as well.

SDN networks are software-based and designed to be open and controlled remotely. While the current adoption rate for SDN is relatively low, we continue to have discussions with customers on areas that SDN will help resolve-app performances, business agility and cost containment/reduction.

The biggest challenge that SDN currently faces are the misconceptions organizations associate with it. It is perceived that SDN only applies to data center networking, where in reality-SDN applies to all forms of networking and networking services from enterprise data center and campus to service provider networks.

 

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