Written by Jennifer Lin
Prior to joining Juniper through the acquisition of Contrail Systems, Jennifer was a member of the early team and VP, Product Management at Contrail Systems, where she led the product management and marketing activities.
IT professionals contemplating on deploying SDN should keep in mind: the metrics for success, long-term cost benefits, and project timetables.
There's a lot of ways to look at SDN, and I think that's been a little bit of the challenge of the industry. A lot of folks kind of had different meanings for SDN, and it served different domains. It could be in the campus and branch, it could be in the data center, it could be across the wide area in various cloud environments.
I think what we've settled around is more around the impact that things like mobile and cloud are having on infrastructure, which is to say it's a lot more dynamic, a lot more distributed, a lot more automated, a lot more based on open source and open interfaces, and a lot more automation brings with it a higher degree of control. Which may be control from administrators, but more often is sort of self service provisioning of the users, a la if you go to AWS or Google Compute Engine and you grab the resources, you're sort of instantly given access to infrastructure that's in the cloud.
That's an expectation that a lot of people have, without things like SDN, that are highly software-driven, as opposed to needing a truck roll to install a server or an appliance or a router or a switch. I think that's one of the biggest changes and evolutions for the industry.