The Amazing Network Chameleon

ChameleonI’ve always thought chameleons were cool. I actually had one when I was younger, and was fascinated by its ability to adapt to different surroundings by changing color. The networks of today are becoming technology chameleons that are adapting to meet the unique and ever-changing needs of their data centers and application workloads.

No matter what data center resources there are — physical, virtual, or both — today’s network infrastructure needs to adapt to all of these resources. As application requirements change, the network must dynamically transform to meet these changes.

At the forefront in helping IT personnel adapt is Software-Defined Networking (SDN). Enterprises and cloud operators are hoping to use this new network architecture to build and manage networks that can adapt to the ever-changing and dynamic nature of today’s application workloads.

Rather than having to program each individual networking device and touch each one to manage their functionality, SDN moves network control away from the various networking devices, to a centralized management console. Administrators will then be able to configure and manage their network from this console.

With a centralized management console to control hypervisors and adapt network infrastructure to meet workflow requirements, personnel from different lines of business will be able to program and control how the network adapts to their specific application workloads.

Just as chameleons change colors to protect themselves from predators, IT personnel are looking to SDN as a means to not only dynamically scale capacity, lower operating expenses, and free up resources by packaging network services for other line-of-business personnel, but to also gain network flexibility, as well as having a single view and toolset to manage all networking, computing, and storage resources.

Image credit: Björn Söderqvist (flickr) – CC-BY-SA