An In-Depth Look at Software-Defined Networking

Software-Defined Networking as a Service?

As mentioned before, software-defined networking exists in the context of new software-as-a-service and cloud computing paradigms. That leads to a lot of discussion about the future of software-defined networking and the emergence of new network-as-a-service or NaaS implementations.

The general idea is that the concept of software-defined networking is going to drive NaaS. As we get better at making SDN implementations, it will allow vendors to more effectively offer NaaS through the cloud.

Readers of our blog will know that we have been advocating for some time that SDN is a lot more than just the separation of the network’s control and data planes, and that OpenFlow is “merely” a mechanism (not the only one) for SDN controllers to pass forwarding instructions to the underlying infrastructure,” writes Steve Harriman in a Packet Design article in 2014, calling network as a service “the real promise of SDN.” Packet Design's SDN product won the 2016 SDN Product of the Year Award and provides unique evolutionary SDN design.

“Our industry often gets lost in the technology details and misses the point, which in this case is about creating malleable network infrastructures that flex efficiently with business demands. The really interesting, valuable, and … hard work is to supply the controllers with the intelligence they need to make smart infrastructure changes,” Harriman wrote, going on to talk about how to deliver NaaS in theory, requiring centralized intelligence.

The reality is that businesses have been making SDN-driven NaaS real – in reporting from Fierce Telecom at the end of 2016, we see Orange Business Services preparing to launch its own NaaS offering based on the premise of SDN.

Items like value-added network applications and IoT applications can also be evolved with SDN and SD-WAN technologies.


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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.