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 Software-defined networking

Like most organisations, you're searching for more cost-effective and agile ways to ensure your business keeps up with the rapid developments in ICT. At the core of this is your network. The advent of software-defined networking (SDN) – an innovative new approach to network architecture – promises to be the important shift that will drive significant changes in how your network can be built and operated ... and, ultimately, in the entire networking industry.

Much confusion still surrounds SDN. How are you to understand this new technology and the benefits it may hold for your business?

 

Overview

 

If SDN is still a poorly understood term, it's often because the implications for the corporate network can't be articulated without a thorough grasp of the technology. 

SDN makes networks more intelligent, programmable, and automated. This is brought about by changes at the networking device level. 

With SDN, the intelligent, programmable part of each device – the software that determines how the device controls and directs data – is split from the packet-forwarding engine, and centralised. SDN therefore uses 'dumbed-down' networking devices that are configured by a central, software-based controller. Hence the term 'software-defined': the network is no longer configured by manually adjusting individual devices, but controlled by software.

 

 

Benefits
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 SDN offers a simpler, better way to manage you network. This could hold the following advantages for your business:

  • cost savings through more efficient operations and more effective delivery of network services
  • lower capex through higher utilisation and elastic scaling of network services
  • easier, low-cost implementation and management​​​​
  • greater automation thanks to external applications programmatically interfacing with network
  • improved ability to keep up with the speed of change, particularly virtualisation, convergence, and cloud
  • greater ability to respond more quickly to the dynamic nature of modern applications and business requirements​​
What we offer
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A move to SDN can be disruptive and complex. There are many crucial considerations, including:

  • the changing vendor landscape
  •  the type of SDN to be adopted
  •  the speed of adoption
  • network automation processes
  • identifying the best possible starting point 

To help you take the first step in your journey, Dimension Data has developed a focused consulting engagement which provides a compelling starting point to:

  • learn more about SDN and its technical aspects
  •  understand the impact SDN will have on your ICT operations
  • know where to start with SDN 

Software-defined Networking Development Model  is a practical tool designed to remove some of the confusion surrounding SDN, and help you better understand how to leverage SDN to reach your future aspirations. 

The Model is structured as a strategic process with a consulting-led, facilitated workshop at its core. The workshop includes an educational element to ensure a common understanding of SDN before moving on to reviewing the impact of SDN against four key dimensions:

  • ICT infrastructure
  •  ICT operations
  •  ICT organisation 
  •  business alignment 

The engagement includes the identification of your 'as-is' SDN state and a desired 'to-be' SDN state. This enables us to create a roadmap of recommended SDN-related activities. These actions will provide a concrete plan for SDN adoption across the organisation.

With the insights delivered through our Software-defined Networking Development Model, you'll be in a strong position to move ahead with your SDN journey in a structured and coherent manner.

 

 

 

Why work with Dimension Data?
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 ​We offer:

  • a unique blend of capabilities, assets, and experience, which sets us apart from other ICT service providers
  • a strong 30-year heritage in systems integration
  • mature managed services skills​
  • technical expertise – not only in networking, but also in other areas such as data centres, security, end-user computing solutions, and ICT services 
  • our consultants have on average 10 years of ICT infrastructure and consulting experience to help you determine the most appropriate SDN strategy for your organisation 
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