How to Establish Your SDN Vision
The market is on a journey to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as a vehicle for greater business agility and innovation. But a journey like this can take time.
And typically – said Jim Metzler, CEO Ashton, Metzler, and Associates – it takes about 10 years for technology to come to fruition. For instance, VMware, he said, was founded in 1998, but didn’t receive any traction until a decade later.
But with SDN, we’re getting close, says Metzler. He credited Martin Casado with helping to shape OpenFlow as a piece of SDN back in 2006 and 2007.
“So I can make the case that we’re only in year eight or nine of SDN, and we are getting very close to crossing the chasm,” Metzler said.
With SDN looming large, it’s important for organizations to establish vision surrounding the ever-developing concept.
Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation offered some tips for those looking to enter the SDN space. Most importantly, he said, people who understand SDN and can harvest its value are well positioned for the future.
“The enterprises that are moving to SDN need to have an idea of what their appetite for risk is, how big a hurry they are in and what their ultimate objective really is,” Pitt said. “The CIO that can demonstrate that the IT organization can actually contribute meaningfully to the bottom line will have a much greater influence in the corporation. I think that’s going to be possible, really, and a new way for the first time with SDN.”
Additionally, organizations looking to monitor the performance of SDN deployments in order to assure service delivery and prove the value of the investment should seek to address these top three challenges:
Understand automated, dynamic change
The promise of SDN – its ability to automate the provisioning of newly converged infrastructures in minutes and impact multiple devices at the same time -- changes everything.
What’s needed is a performance monitoring solution with open APIs, one that can integrate directly with SDN systems. It will look for new devices or changes, and then immediately modify how the infrastructure is monitored to ensure performance visibility.
Allow for elastic, on-demand scalability
As creating, modifying and tearing down compute, network and storage infrastructures via SDN systems becomes a trusted process, performance monitoring solutions must adjust to meet increased demand.
These solutions must be able to add capacity to accommodate the rapid growth of the infrastructure in both physical and virtual appliances. If they can’t quickly add additional capacity on demand, they can become oversubscribed and risk performance visibility gaps.
Provide insight at scale
Rapid, on-demand infrastructure requires a dynamic performance monitoring platform that provides insight at scale.
The performance monitoring platform must, first and foremost, be able to understand the relationship between physical and virtual infrastructures.
It’s critical for the platform to integrate with provisioning systems and controllers to share real-time device provisioning knowledge and to scale on demand with virtualized resources.
The platform must also provide service-context awareness and allow users to correlate all data across a slice of their infrastructure at any point in time for troubleshooting and capacity planning.
For more on SDN, read our free whitepaper, “Top 3 Challenges of Monitoring Software Defined Everything.”