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Software Defined Network: use cases from the real world

Over the past few years, Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been paid a lot of attention to, by researchers and scientists. It is still an emerging technology that’s destined to replace the physical network design with a networking infrastructure controlled by software. It usually proves to be an adaptable, comparatively cost-efficient and dynamic solution. The sophistication of SDN allows it to cater to the high bandwidth needs of applications. Read more about SDN foundations here.

Although software defined networking has been getting a lot of hype, people can rarely figure out any real world use cases for it, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Here are a few SDN use cases that depict how and why it can provide flexibility and deal with some key network problems.


Hyper-Converged storage/Converged storage

Converged storage is an architecture that consists of an amalgam of computing resources and storage in a single unit. They can be used for platform development for storage centric, server centric or even hybrid (storage-server) workloads. Many famous data services providing companies are beginning to use SDN while creating programmable fabrics across storage and data center technologies. The reason is to use virtualization to achieve agility of keeping up server and virtualizing the storage. For example, Edgenet  have implemented the Programmable Flow SDN Ecosystem that uses the Openflow controller to create such a system. They are also using powerful and efficient switching to ensure proper network efficacy.


Video applications

Sonus Networks, which is a unified communications and border control vendor revealed a new application for SDN when they used it for their video and collaboration applications. What they did was this: They combined the network virtualization platform of Juniper with their session border controllers and eventually gave providers the luxury of capacity creation for some sessions of communication. The use of SDN provides them with the ability to ensure that the QoS or the quality of service levels are also maintained. The company believes that this usage of SDN as an enterprise solution has enabled them to have a lot more control over the network and caters for the dynamic agreements that are pivotal in their type of business supremely. Because the providers can now allot the network space solely based on the need, they will definitely be able to improve the overall efficacy and capacity of the system. You can read more about SDN functionalities here.


Orchestration of mobile network services

The network functions virtualization or NVF and SDN have both entered the mobile operator networks. Vendors have started to use them to set up their networks more rigorously in the bid to ensure maximum resource utilization and dynamic provisioning on the service orchestration. A big benefit that is now available to vendors using the mixture of SDN and NVF is that they are able to provision the lead times. Another possibly vital reason of making the SDN-NVF choice is now companies have the ability to separate their application logic which was something impossible before. Efficient orchestration of services and dynamic resource utilization allows for the architecture to cater to the needs of the vendors. Companies claim that after migrating to the architecture, they have been able to cut down the lead times a lot and have also reported faster overall performance of their platforms.  If you are looking to have more visibility on your cloud based network, have a look at how ThousandEyes, a sophisticated networking monitoring solution, can help you out by clicking here.


Data center networks’ scalability

SDN can also be used to replace the wired infrastructure of data center networks. Currently researchers at the University of Illinois are trying to use some SDN switches to test a new network that has been deployed for a data center. The researchers have the ability to ensure the scaling of bandwidth between servers; of course this could have been achieved otherwise as well but not before incurring too much hardware cost. 13 Pica8 switches have been installed that consist of around 670 ports. Once data networks get operated by software more frequently, the access speeds will probably get a lot higher as load balancing and bandwidth scaling will be ensured. Learn the difference between SDN thick and thin routers by clicking here.


Basically the network of any enterprise

Now that we have listed some of the rather sophisticated use cases of SDN, at the last we are going to talk about one straightforward one. The use of it as a network infrastructure for any enterprise company. Many businesses have already migrated to SDN after their engineers ensured them better control and hence better efficiency of their operations. There are a lot of SDN vendors that will deploy a software operated networking system for your business instead of the old physical networking infrastructure. With SDN, comes agility, efficiency and well, brilliance. So, if you have a little extra budget on hand, having a small SDN paradigm shift won’t be that bad a choice.


These were only some of the many possible applications of software defined networking. It’s inevitable that even more will appear once the technology receives more recognition and public approval. This is the future of networking!

About Maab Saleem

Maab Saleem is a Computer science graduate and an experienced technical geek. He loves coding and writing tech reviews, blogs and informative articles that are rich in insight and practical tips.

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