Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 65 - Page 34

FEATURE : SOFTWARE DEFINED NETWORKING
Software Defined Networking ( SDN ) is an architecture that aims to make networks agile and flexible . The goal of SDN is to improve network control by enabling enterprises and service providers to respond quickly to changing business requirements . Industry pundits share insights with
Intelligent CIO Africa how enterprises in Africa are deploying SDN to improve network management and end-to-end visibility .

Software Defined Networking ( SDN ) is the hottest thing going today , but there is considerable confusion surrounding everything from the definition of the term to the different architectures and technologies suppliers are putting forward .

Given the confusion , some IT shops are probably taking a wait-and-see attitude . But while that response would be understandable , it isn ’ t the right approach because , even though no reasonable person would claim to know how SDN and network virtualisation will evolve over the next several years , there is no doubt these emerging technologies will have a significant impact on businesses in Africa .
Software Defined Networking ( SDN ) is an architecture that aims to make networks agile and flexible . The goal of SDN is to improve network control by enabling enterprises and service providers to respond quickly to changing business requirements .
Industry reports expect growth of the global SDN market to exceed US $ 13.7 billion in 2020 , expanding to more than US $ 32 billion within the next five years . What portion of that will be attributed to growth in Africa is still to be seen considering the close link between SDN and the adoption of cloud services .
Rudeon Snell , Global Senior Director : Industries and Customer Advisory , SAP , said although Africa has been lagging for a while , the continent is witnessing a greater shift towards cloud-based technology – something which may be accelerated even further by the COVID-19 pandemic and the imperative to conduct business remotely .
Wesley van Rayne , Principal Engineer , Redvine Networks , said if one looks at adoption of SDN as a solution for businesses across the continent , one is able to see a definite shift away from only early adopters , who have done the legwork in terms of testing , absorbing the risk and now being in a position to showcase the impact the technology has on their organisations .
Van Rayne said SDN has proven itself over the last three to four years and the market is seeing a move to early majority take-up across most , if not all industry sectors .
Snell said in a world where the proliferation of mobile technology has provided Internet connectivity to millions , networks are under increasing pressure from hundreds if not thousands of devices that are accessing them at any one time . “ This also means that networks are not only growing larger , but they are becoming more complex and possibly more vulnerable to malicious intrusion .
The integrity of a network and its security systems is one of the most pressing challenges in a virtual environment ,” he said . “ Now that the network is essentially software-based , care must be taken to protect dynamic and evolving threat surfaces . It is important to embed a zero-trust security model into the architecture from day one , rather than bolting it on later .”
He added that by ensuring that SDN network security and application security measures are aligned to integrate seamlessly , security headaches can be alleviated significantly .

Planning for SDN

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