Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a centralized networking approach that uses application programming interfaces (APIs) and software-based controllers to interface with the underlying network infrastructure and manage network traffic.
This software-based network management model differs from traditional models. heritage Models use hardware devices such as switches and routers to manage network traffic. Software-defined networking can manage traditional hardware or a virtual network through software. They enable rapid programming, management and provisioning of networks.
In this guide, we examine leading SDN providers that are helping to shape this new and growing market. Obviously, software-defined networking trends are changing at a remarkable rate as this burgeoning sector gains acceptance.
See also: Top Networking Companies
What are the benefits of SDN?
SDN is an architecture designed to make managing a network easier and more flexible. SDN benefits include:
- Minimize complexity by decoupling the data and control planes while making automation highly scalable and secure.
- Leverage open APIs to rapidly deploy services and applications.
- Eliminate manual configuration and manage and provision wide area networks (WANs), campuses and data centers.
- Centralize cloud automation, service delivery, monitoring, control, management and configuration.
See also: Top Managed Service Providers
Choosing an SDN provider
SDN technology enables organizations to quickly and efficiently reconfigure and manage network resource usage by leveraging policy-based management and automated provisioning. Before choosing an SDN provider, there is some homework to do – this is a highly complex product area and it is very difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing technology.
Visit each SDN provider’s website, peruse product catalogues, compare features and pricing plans, and check peer-to-peer reviews. Perhaps most importantly, to understand which ones The SDN solution best meets your organizational needs. Speak at length with each sales representative. Get an idea of:
- Does this SDN solution work with your current legacy network? Or will it be a complete replacement?
- What is the vendor’s product roadmap? Are they expected to keep up with changes in the SDN market?
- What strategy is the provider pursuing with regard to the cloud? Eventually, some or many of the different pieces of software you will be using will be cloud-based.
See also: Developing a cloud modernization strategy
Top software-defined networking solutions
Cisco DNA Center
Cisco DNA Center is a robust management dashboard and network controller designed to help you spend less time managing your network and improve network performance. With Cisco DNA Center, your IT team can respond quickly and intelligently to network changes and challenges.
- A consolidated dashboard for all basic management tasks simplifies the operation of your network.
- heat maps powered by artificial intelligence (AI) Display a variety of data in addition to network coverage.
- Get insights into application experience, disruptions and performance.
- Packet capture is used for on-demand statistics.
- Provides guided remediation based on AI baselining.
- Classifies, authorizes, and identifies new endpoints and users.
- Group-based policies follow endpoints and users.
- Simplify and demystify complex segmentation with AI policy analytics.
Cloud native contrail networking
Cloud Native Contrail Networking (CN2) by Juniper Networks is a Kubernetes-native SDN solution that automates and secures numerous containerized application clusters and virtualized Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on an integrated network.
- CN2 offers hybrid SDN for a consistent Infrastructure-as-Code and Network Operations (NetOps) model that is secure, simple and open, enabling organizations to move to cloud-native at their own pace.
- With CN2, you can extend Kubernetes to simplify development and operations (DevOps) and orchestrate containerized microservices with APIs and intent-based declarative delivery.
- By adding automation for management and security through CN2, you can focus on rapidly deploying and developing technology services and products for customers.
- The cloud-native SDN solution automates the management and creation of virtualized networks to seamlessly secure, isolate, and connect cloud services and workloads across public and private clouds.
- CN2 provides hybrid SDN orchestration for load balancing, network address translation (NAT), security, routing, and virtualized switching.
- The cloud-native SDN solution supports investments in existing orchestration platforms, processes, capabilities and licenses.
Cradlepoint NetCloud Service
Cradlepoint NetCloud Service centralized network management for lean IT. Capabilities include management and orchestration, 5G and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connection management, wireless area network (WAN) edge routing and security services, Internet of Things (IoT) services, extensibility software development kit (SDK), and analytics and insights.
- Cradlepoint NetCloud Service is a subscription-based platform delivered via Cradlepoint 5G and LTE wireless edge routers and adapters to enable seamless transition to a wireless WAN.
- Configure networks that can route traffic based on cellular data usage, application content, bandwidth usage, or preferred connection to maximize uptime and availability.
- Ensure maximum application availability and quality with integrated software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), deployed at scale with the least disruption.
- The SDN solution simplifies network management by making it easy to understand and apply licenses, engage with customers, aggregate training tools, update software feature sets, and identify and release software updates.
- Gain insight into security data, network health and applications through comprehensive analytics.
- These analytics are available in simple dashboards and through actionable alerts, giving you a complete picture of your network usage, applications and wireless WAN.
- Access features from a mobile phone or tablet using the Cradlepoint NetCloud Service mobile application.
VMware NSX is a network virtualization and security platform that allows you to manage your entire network as a single entity from a single pane of glass. With VMware NSX you get network speed, agility and security.
- VMware NSX reproduces your network model in software, allowing you to instantly deploy and create any network topology, and deploy critical applications and services more easily and quickly.
- Connect and protect applications across your container, data center, and multi-cloud infrastructure.
- The SDN provider enables agility through automation. Run a full L2-L7 stack in software with auto-provisioning.
- Access powerful scalability and flexibility.
- Deliver granular protection with micro-segmentation for individual workload and network segmentation.
- Leverage intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) and create contextual security policies to protect against lateral threats.
- Manage consistent security and network policies across public and private clouds from a single console.
- By consolidating security and networking functions onto a single platform, the platform can enable low capital expenditure (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx).
See also: 9 ways AI can help improve cloud management
Hardened Air Wall
Hardened Air Wall is purpose-built to protect critical infrastructure using an identity-based Zero Trust protocol. Features include end-to-end encryption, identity-based policies, operational technology (OT) visibility, software-defined orchestration, and secure, anywhere connectivity.
- Tempered Airwall is based on the Host Identity Protocol (HIP), a standard developed to address the security vulnerabilities and lack of mobility of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
- Builds private overlay networks based on trusted cryptographic identities and encrypted tunnels for security.
- The SDN provider offers complete control over communications.
- Extensible, scalable and simple policy management is available from a single pane of glass.
- Combine policy enforcement and secure communications with threat detection, correlation, and traffic visibility.
- Easy deployment over any IP network for cloud applications and remote access.