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In recent SDN blog posts, the subject of whether the software-defined networking industry needs another plane to help untangle some messes came up. One expert said yes. In other posts, Moor Insights & Strategy conducted a case study of HudsonAlpha's beta test of HPE Synergy, the vendor's composable infrastructure platform, and one research analyst noted SD-WAN's potential in enhancing the digital workspace.
'Plane' and simple: We need another plane
In all the talk about software-defined networking, there's a lot of discussion about how SDN separates the control plane from the data plane -- or the brains from the muscle -- to optimize traffic flow.
The control plane decides the best route to direct packets, reacting to changes in topology, to find the shortest path. While the control plane strives for an efficient network, the data plane carries out the commands from the control plane. In SDN, the management plane -- which monitors and handles the network devices -- joins the control plane in the switch to software, making management easier. But what if there was another plane? In a recent post on The Elastic Network blog site, Russ White proposed a policy plane.
White said a policy plane could act as an "ephemeral overlay" to separate the concepts of policy and reachability. While the control plane focuses on discovering and reacting to route information, White's policy plane could override the topology and reachability the control plane discovered to better utilize network resources.
Read White's hard case examples to understand why he thinks SDN needs a policy plane.
HudsonAlpha looks to HPE Synergy
In a recent case study, Moor Insights & Strategy discussed HudsonAlpha's adoption of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Synergy platform. HudsonAlpha -- a nonprofit genetics and genomics institute -- required a platform that could handle substantive amounts of data, allow easy access to that data and increase agility to serve its users. It looked to the composable infrastructure of HPE Synergy -- an infrastructure that treats hardware like software by deploying infrastructure as code, according to Moor Insights & Strategy.
Moor Insights & Strategy listed four main points about why Synergy is a good option for HudsonAlpha:
- Resource pools. HudsonAlpha allocates its resources in pools, based on application needs. HPE Synergy uses a single infrastructure, comprising compute, storage and fabric pools, which works well for any infrastructure.
- Direct-attached storage. Synergy provides simple direct-attached storage that matches HudsonAlpha's need for efficient storage.
- Docker containers. These containers offer stateless delivery of microservices, something HudsonAlpha plans to take advantage of.
- Agile environment. HudsonAlpha seeks agility, and Synergy can quickly set up users with new applications.
For more on HudsonAlpha's adoption of HPE Synergy, view the entire case study.
SD-WAN and the digital workspace
In a Nemertes Research blog post, John Burke, CIO and principal research analyst at the firm, looked at the successor to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) -- the digital workspace and its growing relationship with SD-WAN.
According to Burke, the digital workspace permits a "dynamic, personalized work-from-anywhere-on-anything workspace," tying in VDI and desktop as a service with SD-WAN. In fact, Burke said he believes SD-WAN can improve the workspace with connection pools and its ability to find good links when links have failed. SD-WAN can also help optimize traffic flow by actively selecting the best route. Burke recommended enterprises interested in a digital transformation look into SD-WAN, as more and more enterprises are deploying it.
Look over Burke's post to view his thoughts on the digital workspace and SD-WAN.
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SDN's relationship with Docker containers
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