Guido Vrola - Fotolia

Q
Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

How can my company reap the advantages of SDN if its culture is risk-averse?

SDN expert Will Murrell discusses how the advantages of SDN will speak to cautious companies only when network engineers can make a case for SDN's lower cost and high functionality.

Some companies are hesitant to deploy new technologies until they have seen what they can do in real-world situations. Software-defined networking is no different. And while at first glance the technology may seem like a daunting task to implement, the advantages of SDN, namely flexibility and long-term cost savings, are what make it an attractive option.

The biggest task is making management realize the inherent advantages of SDN, especially as standards continue to develop. Have management imagine the ability to turn new policies into network configuration at the push of a button, with no additional engineering time needed. How much cost savings would the company realize in a network of any appreciable size? Granted, for much smaller businesses with a single closet that makes up their total network, the advantages of SDN doesn't make much sense, yet.

In the future, however, once the technology matures and comes at a lower cost of ownership, smaller companies will be willing to jump in. Unfortunately, there is also the life cycle of the current equipment to take into consideration. Some companies are perfectly happy to use their equipment for seven to 10 years until it is fully depreciated. They see no reason to jump into new technology until they get what they consider their money's worth out of their legacy network equipment.

What's necessary is for you, the engineer, to take a good honest look at your network and see where it could benefit from an SDN deployment. Make a case, based on cost analysis, functionality and needs. Once compiled, you can make an honest self-determination of whether your company will gain the advantages of SDN. The keyword here is honest. If you just want to make the jump to SDN because it's the latest and greatest, you may want to reassess your position. If you can honestly say your company will save time and money with an SDN deployment, take your case to management and present it. While it won't always work, having an analysis and a plan can help move your case from fantasy to reality.

Next Steps

Debunking common SDN myths to get to its benefits

A look at why to implement SDN

Making the business case for network functions virtualization implementation

This was last published in April 2016

Dig Deeper on SDN strategy and ROI

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

What business concerns are preventing an SDN deployment in your organization?
Cancel
Network engineers need to consider two things "Cost of Scale" and "Opportunity Cost."
To the former, it is significantly more cost effective scaling automated architectures such as SDN and NFV. To the latter, one must consider what will be the cost of doing nothing while competitors are delivering new and improved services on-demand.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchNetworking

SearchEnterpriseWAN

SearchCloudProvider

SearchUnifiedCommunications

SearchSecurity

SearchDataCenter

Close