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SDN adoption gradual in Mideast

Dubai, August 20, 2013

The adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) remains gradual in the Middle East, with early adopters currently investigating a wide range of applications and use cases.

SDN emerged a few years ago in response to the challenges of the rigidity of physical networks and manual operations, said a statement.

The uses include network visualisation, large-scale data centre infrastructure management, traffic engineering, and WAN flow management, it said.

IDC reported that globally SDN accounts for around $360 million in annual business in a $30 billion networking industry, with significant growth expected in the future.

Sufian Dweik, regional director, Brocade Communications, said: “SDN is actually a fairly simple philosophy, but the preparation to be able to deploy SDN needs to start now. It is a way of approaching the management and utilisation of the network differently, enabling customers to fully utilise the power of virtualisation of hardware and software effectively across the infrastructure.”  

“However, it is not, despite the hype, a replacement of the physical infrastructure, and unfortunately if the physical infrastructure is still a three-tier, legacy affair, with redundancy and resilience issues, any investment is SDN will reap little real reward,” he added.

According to Biswajeet Mahapatra, research director, at analyst firm Gartner, “Most companies today are virtualising 20-30 per cent of their hardware”. By dividing physical devices into multiple virtual “units” that can be assigned to certain tasks across the infrastructure - not just those related to the tasks assigned to the physical unit, enterprises can use their full capacity and compute power.

By separating the control plane (the part that holds the instruction manual) and the data plane (where the data sits) within a device, SDN enables the control element to move with a virtual device around the network.  This means that a virtual device automatically knows how to deal with an application or service request regardless of where it is within the infrastructure.  

SDN provides the framework to deliver this process, so management of the network becomes more about software commands and application enablement, less about where certain physical devices sit or what they are plugged into.

To deploy and benefit from SDN, enterprises need to realise that ‘network’ remains the critical foundation to technology plans and business performance, said the statement. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Middle East | IDC | Network | adoption | SDN |

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