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September 2017, Vol. 8, No. 7

Software-defined networking technology makes inroads in the LAN

The same principles that make software-defined networking attractive in the data center -- among them, programmability, automation and policy enforcement -- also make it appealing for use in local area networks. But cost and management complexities associated with SDN have made it challenging to deploy the entire gamut of software-defined networking technology in the campus. Instead, companies are exploring the use of some of SDN's most intriguing components to take advantage of its most compelling benefits. Call it SDN-lite, if you will. Scentsy Inc., a fragrance company in Meridian, Idaho, is among a growing number of enterprises exploring how SDN elements can reduce time-consuming manual tasks by adding more software-based capabilities to its LAN. "Users are much too mobile today. There has to be a way to automate policies so the IT staff can keep up," said Kevin Tompkins, a network architect at Scentsy. With software performing functions that otherwise require manual coding, "we can set a policy for finance, IT ...

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