There has been a lot of buzz of a new concept emerging in the network community– software defined networking (SDN). SDN is glamorized as the network’s latest push towards a more streamlined and cost-efficient solution compared to the physical infrastructure currently dominating the floors of IT departments. Promoters are trumpeting this advancement as an innovation marvel; much like virtualization was to servers. In fact, a key component of SDN is bringing networks to a virtual environment. Despite the hype of SDN giving it much notability, many are still confused about the underlying concept of SDN, the possible complications, and the business value of having an SDN network. Visit Info-Tech’s solution set Prepare for Software Defined Networking (SDN) to guide you through fact and fiction.

SDN is essentially a network architecture where the management, mapping, and control of traffic flow is removed from network devices, and centralized in the network. This separation is said to increase performance, network visibility, and simplicity given it is constructed correctly. However, given SDN’s infancy, a sufficient number of use cases and proof-of-concepts have yet to emerge in the SDN space, leaving organizations wondering if there is any revenue generating or cost saving opportunities. How can they make a sound decision on SDN? It may be too early to make a final decision, but they can start crafting the case and investigate the early movers in the SDN space.

Be prepared to see a shift in networking paradigms because of SDN: hardware to software, physical to virtual, propriety to commodity. Naturally, this will throw off traditional networking staff from their game. But, do not worry, current SDN solutions are still in “Version 1” and future versions may see solutions become friendlier to traditional network practices and concepts. With the attention it is getting from the media and established network leaders, SDN technologies will likely (and hopefully) evolve to mainstream deployment states.

Realize SDN is here. Understand where it came from and how it can help your business. Remember to wait for the SDN space to settle and mature before implementing SDN in your organization. After all, you wouldn’t want your child driving your multi-million dollar car.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on Twitter

Microphone at conference.Attendees at Info-Tech Research Group’s recent Info-Tech Exchange Midwest, held in Kansas City at the Intercontinental at the Plaza, experienced a great day of informative presentations, engaging workshops and breakouts, and the opportunity to network with peers. We focused our day on the perfect storm of technology trends that are affecting IT departments of all sizes, and how IT leaders can leverage innovation concepts to address them. Cloud, Big Data, Social, Mobility, and Security are forcing changes to the way IT is structured and the way that it operates; in our opinion today’s CIO needs to take these in stride or risk being bypassed by business leaders that need greater agility.

Davin Juusola, our Vice President of Research and Development, kicked off the day with a keynote presentation on IT innovation and his talk was well received by all the attendees. His core message was that too many CIOs live in a state of perpetual firefighting which is limiting IT’s value to the CEO. A quick poll confirmed the sentiment as greater than 50% of the attendees self-admitted they too considered themselves firefighters. Davin went on to show that since enterprises need to grow to stay relevant, they must become innovative or risk facing fates like those of Blockbuster and Kodak.

Next up were Research Manager Tim Lawless and Director of Research James Quin with talks on Purchase Optimization and Process Optimization. Tim outlined the program by which we’ve saved our clients over $19M in 2012 alone while James dove into how to improve the core processes upon which every IT group depends. Together the two sessions highlighted how CIOs can find the time and money to begin to focus on IT innovation. This set up an afternoon filled with dynamic breakouts that explored the key technology trends around which IT leaders can begin to learn the skills necessary to become innovators. We wrapped the day with a group discussion that generated a Start/Stop/Continue plan for each attendee that they could take back to the office and leverage to make immediate changes.

The day was a great success for all in attendance; friends were made, lessons were learned, and even those attendees that drove in from as far away as Omaha and St. Louis agreed the time was more than well spent.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on Twitter