How software-defined networking can help businesses grow globally

SDN and NFV offer agility and scalability to help businesses expand worldwide

by Johnny Ng, General Manager, AT&T Greater China

Software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are helping multinational businesses become more competitive. SDN and NFV provide freedom to flexibly manage networks. Adding or modifying virtual network functions (VNFs) can be as simple as downloading an app on a smartphone.

You can start with one set of network functions and add more if needed – it’s your choice. This flexibility is changing the essence of networking – especially when it comes to global business.

Control shifts from physical hardware to virtualized software and hardware. This makes the network infrastructure highly adaptable. Plus, it means you’re no longer locked into a specific hardware vendor.

Here are some additional ways the technology is helping businesses grow at a global scale.

1. On-demand control

With SDN and NFV, you can efficiently change and control network services to enable applications as needed.

For example, you could provision new services to support a marketing campaign or research and development project. You would do this on-demand and on infrastructure close to the teams involved to minimize latency and maximize performance.

2. Improved security

When an attack is detected, SDN lets your network service provider more easily deploy updates and isolate and contain problems.

In the case of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, for example, your service provider can use its software-centric architecture to scale the network security in near real time to avoid disruption to your operations.

3. Simplify

SDN and NFV help you simplify your network infrastructure and vendor contracts.

You can manage all your virtual network functions in an online portal. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, as it simplifies management and streamlines operations.

4. Cost

Software-defined networking helps businesses lower the total cost of network ownership by eliminating the need for proprietary equipment.

5. Customization

Quickly roll out the networking infrastructure you need—virtually wherever you need it. Set up multiple virtual network functions, like a router and firewall, on a single device.

This freedom helps you customize the software – tailored to each business site’s needs – by mixing and matching devices and applications from best-of-breed vendors.

AT&T FlexWare

AT&T FlexWare℠ helps you take advantage of virtualization on your network today. An installed device on your property connects to the SDN-enabled cloud to download the applications you choose to install.

This software turns your device into a virtualized network appliance of your choice. The real game-changer? You no longer need multiple pieces of specialized equipment.

AT&T uses SDN and NFV capabilities on our own networks. We’ve lowered our costs and greatly increased our network’s flexibility, adaptability and capability.

You can benefit too – with help from AT&T FlexWare.