Why software-defined networking is changing the essence of networking

You’ve heard the buzz; now find out what it means for your business

by Roman Pacewicz, SVP, AT&T Offer Management and Service Integration

Every day, business is changing. Today’s solutions must evolve to meet tomorrow’s needs.

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about software-defined networking (SDN). It’s been challenging for companies to digest all the information and determine what this trend truly means for their business.

Simply put, SDN lets you deliver services from a single console to wherever they are needed in the network.

Adopting SDN and virtualization is not about replacing what you have. Instead, it’s about evolving your network to meet the site-specific needs of each location.

The value of SDN is a flexible, integrated experience on an open platform that can help businesses quickly adapt to changing needs. Customers can now avoid being locked into proprietary solutions that make it difficult to manage costs and complexity.

No matter the industry, every company needs to rethink how SDN can deliver value as they transform, build and manage networks.

Out with the old

The traditional networking model of increasing capacity and adding physical network appliances such as routers, firewalls, and other proprietary equipment is not keeping pace with the demands of today and drives tremendous amount of cost and complexity.

Today, businesses need solutions that can make their networks dynamic and reconfigurable.

At AT&T, we have similar requirements for our global network. Additionally, we have seen first-hand the impact of software-defined networking and virtualization, as we have worked to transform our own global network.

This transformation allowed us to speed the creation and deployment of integrated solutions that are enabling improved agility in our customers’ business operations.

For our customers, that means a competitive advantage.

Consider Fisher & Paykel. The New Zealand-based company has won awards for innovative designs of everyday household appliances.

By moving to a software-defined networking model, using AT&T FlexWare, Fisher & Paykel can change and manage network functions in its offices around the world quickly and easily.

Besides giving its global team the tools they need to innovate, the move to SDN also allows the business to respond more quickly to market demands and changing business needs.

What does it mean for you?

Over the past couple of years, we have worked with thousands of customers across the globe to software-enable their network infrastructure. To help you understand how SDN and virtualization will evolve networking, I will share what we have learned and offer insights through this blog series.

I’ll explore macro trends that are driving networking to an on-demand model, including:

  • How the software-centric network architecture is an enabler and the value it can bring
  • How to chart out plans to move to next-generation networks
  • How businesses across different industries are applying SDN and network function virtualization solutions and the value it creates
  • Security and reliability advantages of a software-centric network