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How do I prepare for SDN in my network?

SDN is short for Software Defined Network which is quite buzzing around these days. Traditionally, networking hardware were used to put together the network. Now, with SDN technologies, a small sophisticated software can run the network operations.

SDN can program and control the network. Operating system decoupled with SDN can direct the network traffic. It can be controlled through software, resulting into faster and efficient network operations.

If you are one of those looking for SDN, you must consider few tips to prepare for SDN in your network:

Understand: Before starting off, you must understand the benefits you are going to derive or expecting from the SDN solutions. Few of the benefits of SDN solutions are reduced costs, improved uptime, efficient traffic control, and management etc.

Analyze: SDN has centralized control system, so all the network operations can be managed and controlled from a single point. But at the same time, it poses some security risks because if the hackers are able to intrude the controller, it can corrupt the network. However, this can be dealt effectively when all the networking, as well as security team work together. Many of such factors need to be analyzed as a part of homework before establishing SDN.

Compare vendors: This is one of the most important steps when preparing to bring SDN in Network. List out all the major SDN vendors and compare their offerings, applications, features and prices. Understand how they differ and which suits the best for your business.

Start Small: You should go by this old proverb as it keeps you unaffected from any unseen risks. Start with testing the network for SDN experimentation instead of straightaway opting for the entire system at once. If everything goes fine, take another small leap and finally you can combine the development and operations network to function in the production mode.

Decide where to start: Data Centers and WAN are two major options to deploy SDN. Both the options have their pros and cons. When deployed at data centers, it improves the uptime and results in enhanced security. While deploying SDN in WAN result in cost savings and resource optimization etc.