Software Defined Networks, SDN, ACI*, NFV*, S-AN*, BUN*,SDAS, SDDC, (Glossary below) and other assorted acronyms. Why the face?

SDN is a natural evolution… not a revolution! However, it promises to be highly impactful! So, how does this affect me?

Did you know that “61% of enterprise technology projects are now funded by the business… rather than the IT department!” (IDC – The Implication of Shifting Technology Buying Centers on Your Business – Oct 3, 2013)

Why is this happening?

The Cloud

Specifically, the public cloud allows any developer in a business unit go out and stand up a server in less than 60 seconds… and for virtually no money! Don’t believe me? I have done it myself. Check out Digital Ocean.

Why the face?


Every time someone from one of the business units stands up a server in the Public Cloud, IT no longer has any control or visibility of the corporate data that resides there.

CEO’s have a love-hate relationship with this issue. They love that there BU’s are bringing new services/products to the market in record time. They hate that proprietary corporate information may be leaked through the public cloud to competitors or worse… the stock market.

How did we get here?

In one word: Virtualization

Virtualization has been the norm with both compute and storage for years and now, Network Virtualization is upon us with the promise that once we add policy based automated orchestration we will all see the benefits promised by Software Defined Networking.  It could be argued that Network Virtualization is Software Defined Networking but I think that sells SDN short. In other words, Network Virtualization without the policy based automated orchestration doesn’t let SDN reach its full impact.

We all know that SDN needs to deliver some CapEx reductions by letting us use low cost network boxes and maybe less of them, but the real benefits lay in the reduction of human networking resources applied to instigating a new service while increasing the speed at which the service is launched. The lower OpEx and increased agility benefits far outweigh any capital reductions.

What do we need to do?

Private Cloud

Develop a private cloud that provides the same convenience, agility and cost savings and take the IT spend back to IT where it belongs… in IT. With IT supervision we get the best of both worlds… cloud services and security!

This where Network Virtualization and true Software Defined Networking apply. A good private cloud needs SDN to function.

What we need are Smart Networks which encompass Software Defined Networking & Enterprise Mobility Management. Smart Networks empower the Private Cloud and provide multi-device access to company services and content.

So… Why the face?

To join the discussion at A Smart Networks Group on LinkedIn or the community at our next MeetUp October 7th in Toronto

*Glossary of Terms

SDN = Software Defined Networks
ACI = Application-Centric Infrastructure
NFV = Network Function Virtualization
S-AN = Service Aware Networks
SDAS = Software Defined Application Services
SDDC = Software Defined Data Centres