It is now the passage to the SDx (Software Defined X technologies) which characterizes them, to gain flexibility, agility and competitiveness.
Welcome to the dawn of a new infrastructure world, governed by the software!
Virtualize the network: remove the inconsistency
The potential of a Software Defined Network (SDN) lies in its ability to facilitate changes in the organization and support different processes, while the control of the resource is managed by people outside the network itself or even more, external to the enterprise itself. The goal is to simplify and ease the operation that generates many new possibilities of optimized usage and configuration of the network.
The first idea is to remove, as far as possible, the material constraints in all processes, by putting the intelligence of the exchanges and of the organization at the level of the software and not anymore inside the hardware. By doing it this way, we can use standard and commoditized hardware instead of advanced components to implement and run the network. Putting as much as possible in the software level means that security MUST be embedded from the beginning in the design as a mandatory and critical requirement!
There is one vision to SDN, but different implementations like Openstack and OpenFlow from ONF (Open Network Foundation) or VMware approach exist together (see references section hereafter).
A bunch of benefits
There are a bunch of benefits to the SDx approach:
- Cost optimization, i.e. the reduction of the cost of upgrade of the hardware against costs generated by errors of development – it is otherwise simple to modify software than hardware often returned to factory to be updated
- Agility, i.e. reduce the complexity of the network through implementation of intelligence at the software level and accelerate the implementation of new services within the network – this can be simplified by the deployment of the software layer above the hardware one
- Standardization, i.e. the arrival of industry standards that will allow the organization to play to competition
- Flexibility, i.e. once the servers and adjacent resources are virtualized, their creation and assignment (internally and externally) to meet the requirements of the company is greatly facilitated, with operational and considerable delayed gains
- Control, i.e. technology best practices and state-of-the-art provide full visibility and full control on IT resource usage with the capability and ease-of-use of the software we can configure easily – at least more easily than hardware!
References: DataCore’s Fifth Annual State of Software-Defined Storage Survey, http://www.datacore.com/blog/posts/2015/05/12/now-available-datacore-s-fifth-annual-state-of-software-defined-storage-survey  VMware EVO:RAIL, https://www.vmware.com/products/evorail  Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform, http://go.nutanix.com/rs/nutanix/images/Datasheet_Official.pdf  HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual System, http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/data-storage/hyper-converged.html  Scale computing, http://www.scalecomputing.com/hyperconvergence/convergence-in-the-datacenter/  Openstack foundation https://www.openstack.org/  Openflow foundation https://www.opennetworking.org/sdn-resources/openflow