Having network components described and automated by software is part of the move toward declarative IT, where all aspects of IT are abstracted and programmatically provisioned as a service. Virtualizing the entire IT stack and running it on commodity hardware is transforming the data center. Software defined networks (SDNs) will integrate with data center network fabrics (high performance, low latency and scalable Ethernet switches), forming hyper-converged adaptive networks.
The network is also changing from a device-centric communication infrastructure to one that supports applications. In this model, networks—whether the LAN or WAN—can be configured on-the-fly to respond to performance needs, service availability, or security constraints. Additionally, back-office, machine-to-machine and other automated processes will be able to proactively request resources when they are anticipated, rather than when they are needed.
SDN makes it possible for every workload or service to have its own network composed of firewalls, access control, and security policy. These fractal configurations are referred to as micro segmentation of the network and can also be triggered automatically and proactively as a response to a threat or degraded performance, or to satisfy isolation constraints or performance requirements.
SDN will provide the framework for a universal utility network infrastructure that can deliver at the speed of business. This next generation of agile networks will enable the future of the virtualized hybrid data center, cloud services consumption, collaboration with other constituents, APIs’ communication of services across enterprise boundaries, secure communications with the Internet of Things, mobile employee services, and almost every aspect of service delivery both within and outside the enterprise.
Every layer of the next-generation IT stack relies on a modern network design, whether the enterprise is modernizing and rationalizing an application portfolio, implementing a hyper-converged infrastructure, or adopting a cloud computing platform for an as-a-service model. This should create many opportunities to begin the adoption of a modern network by including it as an essential predicate to other next-generation services. Whatever the use case may be, it’s clear that modern, software defined networks will be an essential element of every solution.
A comprehensive look at how digital can power forward the enterprise: csc.com/power-forward
Read more in this paper, Software-Defined Networks Accelerate the Speed of Business.
This paper is part of the Journey to the Digital Enterprise paper series.
Rafat Shaheen is a Lead Global Solutions Executive and a member of CSC’s CTO Office. His expertise includes IT transformation, Service Oriented Architecture, design methodologies, IT virtualization stack, hybrid cloud architecture, DevOps, and architecture design patterns. @ShaheenRaf