Embedding Security as a part of SDN system

By Subhasish Gupta, Country Manager - India & SAARC, Allied Telesis

While SDN may be a relatively new technology, security is of paramount importance and organizations that have been involved in the development of SDN including the open source community and vendors alike are no strangers to security. As such, security is an embedded part of any SDN system however on embarking on their SDN journey, organizations need to consider how they will secure their environment as part of the planning and design stage and not leave it as something to be turned on after deployment.

Like IPv6, SDN has specific applications where it is relevant today with the areas where it is relevant only likely to increase over time as people and organizations explore how this new technology can deliver benefits to them. Today, SDN is particularly relevant in service provider and data centre markets but less relevant in the mainstream Enterprise market. The Allied Telesis Secure Enterprise SDN solution is an example of how SDN can be leveraged by Enterprise organizations with business processes around Human Resources (HR) or Information Technology (IT) to improve the way these processes perform.

Like all technology deployments, it is important that the outcomes that are required are understood, that the solution to achieve those outcomes is carefully selected and that deployment is carefully planned and implemented. Part of the selection and deployment process will include what features are required and how it will be configured to meet the organizations security policy and deliver the outcomes that are expected.

Today, the benefits of SDN can easily be demonstrated in environments that are very dynamic or are large and complicated yet process driven. Good examples include the provisioning of new services within a data centre where there are a large number of requests for changes per day such as creation of a new service or changes to an existing service. Environments that are largely static will benefit less or may not benefit at all from the deployment of SDN so it is important that CXO’s understand why they are deploying a new technology and what the risks for their environment are and don’t go looking to deploy a new technology like SDN just for the sake of having the technology available.

Over time we will see and increasing number of applications that are enabled to take advantage of SDN technology – particularly in Enterprise environments. With that said, it is important that organizations understand that SDN is not a silver bullet and there needs to be genuine challenge they are endeavoring to overcome with the deployment of SDN.

With technology, there is no end and as such there is no ‘after’. Like other technologies like the Internet Protocol (IP) or email, we will see SDN and the applications for SDN evolve and change over time. Over the next 12 to 24 months, we expect much of this evolution to occur in Enterprise adoption of SDN.

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