(SDN) Software-defined Networking – how will this affect networking and security?

I recently heard a new technical term “`SDN’ – Software-defined Networking” that sparked my curiosity.  After further research, I understand it to be virtualizing the network, by stripping out the controls from networking devices, and placing all controls in the cloud, which simplifies the network devices.  I have outlined my thoughts on this concept in point form below. Your comments are appreciated on this topic, as I’m still wrapping my head around it.

  • The ability to spin up new networks dynamically to meet business needs (ex. lab networks, research and development networks, etc.). I think this is the way of the future, as businesses are rapidly growing, demands are changing, and technology needs to keep up with the pace.
  • Is troubleshooting going to be easier or more complex?  If adding new networks to your environment becomes quick and easy, will the number of networks grow out of control, and become difficult to manage or troubleshoot?
  • All network devices will need to use the same “language”, if you will, which avoids complexities of learning a variety of different languages.  How will this affect network vendors that have their own “languages”?  Do all vendors need to change their products to allow “OpenFlow” to work on their equipment?
  • How will network security change?  You have to secure the controls in the cloud, which access all your networking devices.  Secure access to the controls.  Secure the devices themselves.

SDN seems to be a growing area that will affect networking and security.  It will be interesting to see how quickly vendors and businesses will move toward this change. 

Deborah I

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