@DevOpsSummit Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Ram Sonagara

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo, @DevOpsSummit

SDN Journal: Article

Software-Defined Networking: A Path to Self-Aware UC&C Infrastructure

Will Unified Communications Become the Killer App for Software-Defined Campus Networks?

Reportbuyer.com just published a new market research report: Software-Defined Networking: A Path to Self-Aware UC&C Infrastructure. Software-defined networking (SDN) represents a significant shift in network architecture and administrator, and brings the hope of a network truly friendly to bandwidth-intensive unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) applications. This market insight will discuss the benefits, challenges, and market opportunities for extending SDN technologies to the access layer or campus network in support of increasingly dynamic UC&C applications.

Ever since private branch exchange (PBX) systems moved from dedicated wiring to reside on the enterprise Internet Protocol (IP) network, there has been an uneasy truce between unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platforms and their host networks. Bandwidth-intensive IP telephony, video, and web collaboration applications have the ability to decimate improperly architected networks. As a result, network administrators must continually make accommodations in their network policies to ensure that the appropriate resources are given to UC&C platforms without impacting the other mission-critical business applications. The stress on the network has only been exacerbated with the emergence and adoption of real-time video and web collaboration as part of a broader multimedia UC&C stack. At the same time, virtualization on data center servers and user desktops is accelerating the rate of change and is making once-static infrastructures extremely dynamic and distributed. A software-defined network (SDN) offers a fundamental change to how enterprise networks operate, and in turn, may turn the uneasy truce between networking and UC&C into a lasting peace.

This market insight will discuss the benefits, challenges, and market opportunities for extending SDN technologies to the access layer or campus network in support of increasingly dynamic UC&C applications.

What is Software-Defined Networking?
The premise of SDN is simple: separating the data plane, the parts of the network switch that move packets from point A to point B, and the control plane, the supervisory components that define the makeup of that network. In software-defined networks, the data plane in either hardware or virtual switches becomes subservient not to its on-board supervisor, but to an external controller application running on physical or virtual servers. In the case of Open Flow, one of the early SDN protocols, a small piece of software, known as an agent, is embedded within the firmware of the network switch, directing it to take commands from the external application.

In theory, software-defined networks make a lot of sense. The controller server is not bound to a single network switch to supervise, yet it can deliver command and control capabilities across every network switch in the enterprise. The controller software can be just another rack of physical servers or run as multiple virtual machine instances in order to provide redundancy and high availability. This architecture can be significantly less costly than paying for redundant hardware supervisors in every single network switch. With a high level of visibility, the SDN controller can direct individual network ports, no matter where on the enterprise network they physically exist, to join together as a logical switch which can present itself as a local switch to the servers and devices. Because it is driven by software, all of the network designs and configurations can be changed instantly and dynamically, with or without human intervention.

Even without integration, these capabilities can make UC&C applications appear as though they are running side-by-side on the same local network. SDN can make it happen, even if the individual applications are in separate server racks or disparate data centers. If the applications are moved around in the virtual environment, an SDN will track those movements and automatically adjust the environment to maintain the logical network, both on-premises and, in theory, in a cloud-based infrastructure.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addresses many of the challenges faced by developers and operators as monolithic applications transition towards a distributed microservice architecture. A tracing tool like Jaeger analyzes what's happening as a transaction moves through a distributed system. Monitoring software like Prometheus captures time-series events for real-time alerting and other uses. Grafeas and Kritis provide security polic...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was joined by a panel of industry experts and real-world practitioners who shared their insight into an emerging set of best practices that lie at the heart of today's digital transformation.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.