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Learn SDN with the pros: Top expert pieces from 2015

Continuing our list of the most-read expert contributions of 2015, software-defined networking pros tackle questions on SD-WAN, NFV, OpenFlow and more.

Editor's note: In part one of our two-part series highlighting the top expert contributions of the year, we reviewed some of SearchSDN's top articles written by analysts, engineers and programmers. These perspectives, ranging from high-level overviews to deep technical dives, are intended to help networking pros learn SDN. Here, in part two, we share the final five most-read expert pieces of 2015.

In examining SearchSDN's reader traffic from 2015, we can draw a few general conclusions:

  • Software-defined WAN, or SD-WAN, is so hot right now.
  • Inquiring readers want to know if OpenFlow is going gentle into that good night.
  • And while some are still wrapping their heads around the concept of SDN, and asking what the technology can do for their networks, others have turned their attention to testing and deployment.

We see these trends and more reflected in the list below. Here are SearchSDN's final five pieces in our roundup of the top 10 expert contributions of 2015.

Is your network ready for the SDN WAN?

This technical guide offers expertise from not one, not two, but three of our top SD-WAN analysts. First, Johna Johnson explained how SD-WAN will change networks' operational needs and organizational structures, and how engineers can stay relevant throughout the shift. Next, John Burke weighed SD-WAN use cases. And finally, Lee Doyle considered the challenges of SD-WAN implementation.

Download the full guide

NFV infrastructure: What really lies beneath?

Networking expert Tom Nolle dispelled some of the confusion around network functions virtualization infrastructure, explaining the concept itself and detailing essential elements of an NFVI environment. Read the full tip.                                                                                                            

SDN and OpenFlow: Is the protocol dead?

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of OpenFlow's death have been greatly exaggerated. The protocol's influence, however, has undeniably waned, as other SDN protocols have emerged to challenge its hegemony. This piece from Doug Marschke explores OpenFlow's rise and fall, and offers an important lesson for all SDN enthusiasts.

Five SDN starter kit options you should know

When it comes to SDN, some networking professionals seem to be ready for less talk, more action. SDN starter kits, as analyst David Jacobs explained, provide a low-risk way to learn SDN and begin the transition to a fully software-defined network.

This news feature story on the same topic also attracted a lot of attention from readers this year.

What is SDN? The answer now includes automation and virtualization

If you want to learn SDN, you have to first understand what it is -- and the answer isn't as simple as you might think. Here, analyst John Burke explained how the meaning of software-defined networking has changed, and what we now talk about when discussing SDN.

Next Steps

Learn SDN: How east-west traffic relates to software-defined networking

Learn about open NFV toolkit Snabb Switch

Where container networking meets SDN

Dig Deeper on SD-WAN

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