SDN: Merging IT Silos and Roles

Comments: 0 Runtime: 2:52 Posted: April 13th, 2015

One of the challenges with SDN is merging the skillsets of the application developer, security expert, server admin, and network person. Rather than spending 80% of time on low value, mundane tasks, you can shift your attention to more important issues of scale and how to improve network response to failures.

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One of the challenges that are happening for people who move into SDN is that you have the siloed approach where you have this Cisco expert, or networking expert, and you have the security expert, and then you have the application, you have your server expert. Obviously when there's a problem or you're deploying something, all of them have to get together. The skillset, I mean that's what the world is today.

SDN, all of these roles will merge in terms of, you have the application person, that's obviously still there, he probably doesn't need to know the network because that's what SDN provides, it basically abstracts the network and allows you to have this programming layer where your application requests from the infrastructure, certain connectivity, and it just happens. You don't have to worry about oh, I have a switch here, a router there. SDN doesn't eliminate that networking expert or security, it just gives them a tool, a better tool to apply their skillset.

The network will always be there, it will get out of the way of the application developer, and obviously in the future, you know as the networking expert and the security expert merge into one, and the server guy just become one person, but for the ... In the interim, there's still a need for the network and security guy, but they have to be aware of how to use this tool. We still, in essence, we're reducing complexity, but we still talk about switching and routing, fundamentally the same things, it's just instead of you having to log into ten different CLI's from three different vendors, from a networking perspective, you just talk to the network in one language, and then everything else is abstracted.

We make the networking and security guys role more streamlined, and shift the focus from eighty percent on just mundane, low value tasks, and twenty on architecture and thinking about the next thing, we shift that. It's okay, now you only to spend twenty percent of your time on these low value tasks, because the network is programmable. You can shift your attention on eighty percent of your time on these other high value things where you got scale, and how to grow the network, and through monitoring improve network response to failures.

The need is still there, I think the skillset, there's going to be a transition from being aware of CLI and command lines, how to configure specific routers to configuring a network as a whole.

Written by Hussein Khazaal
Business Development, Nuage Networks

With over a decade of experience in the telecommunications industry, Hussein Khazaal is responsible for building the Nuage Networks Partner Ecosystem.