By Andy Partridge M.Sc
The world of networking is undergoing a paradigm shift. Software defined networking and the new age of data centres are set to radically change the structure of IT departments across the land. It is vital that businesses understand the importance of this change, what it means and how it can benefit them.
In a software defined environment the intelligence and routing within networking, computing and storage are handled exclusively by the centralised software plane, all but eliminating the need for local configuration of hardware. This will drive commoditisation and extend refresh cycles.
Software defined datacentres can be delivered as a service with a totally virtualised infrastructure, quite different to how things have been done up until now. As such, support will be necessary both before and after deployment.
This new way of doing things brings with it many benefits including increased flexibility and control. It will also require a big shift in the way IT organisations are run and the skillsets needed within the sector.
Network administrators will need to learn how to deploy new features within a virtual environment, and virtual administrators will need to learn how to do tasks that were previously firmly in the realm of the network admin. For instance, many network problems will be fixed by virtualisation administrators without having to get the network team involved.
When considering a move to a software defined system you should also be carefully considering the change in roles and responsibilities that come with it.