New survey results from Juniper reveal the plans surrounding software-defined networking (SDN) from 500 IT decision-makers across a variety of industries. The findings demonstrate that security and plans to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are often at the root of SDN investments.

The interest in SDN is growing – 98% of respondents indicated that they planned to use or were already utilizing SDN. All of the participants in the survey were from companies of 500 employees or more.  

SDN reduces the complexity of network management by separating the control plane from the forwarding plane in order to allow for automated, policy-based network traffic routing. The result is a networking approach that offers better visibility into connectivity and streamlined management. 

Obstacles Remain: The adoption of SDN doesn’t always deliver the expected benefits, and some of that may be due to enterprises not taking full advantage of its capabilities. For instance, many users participating in the survey reported that they are still managing operations through the command line interface (CLI), which is primarily used for managing and configuring the network at the device level. 

Some IT leaders are asking why companies would introduce SDN and then continue to manage it with legacy tools – making it difficult to achieve the expected results. Managing devices on an individual basis is more complex than managing them centrally using SDN. The good news is that this trend is expected to resolve itself as more enterprises prioritize the access of SDN’s full capabilities. 

Gaining Security Capabilities: The survey results indicate that many IT decision-makers are interested in SDN because of its security features. SDN is inherently more secure than a traditional network infrastructure because the network administrator can designate security settings based on different types of network traffic. 

For instance, there could be a public-facing network with low security settings because it doesn’t transport any sensitive data. A second segmented network would offer granular control with a software-based firewall as well as strong encryption that can allow for sensitive data to travel safely over the network. 

AI Benefits: Implementing AI technology requires that teams are able to manage workflows over a variety of devices and pull actionable insights in order to better serve customers. SDN will allow for a more proactive approach to implementing these tools and features, so it will be a priority for every company pursuing AI initiatives.

You may be considering SDN for your next network infrastructure upgrade. Contact us at Net Tel One Communications for assistance in leveraging the best solution for your business priorities.