Through our SDN readiness assessment, we guide our clients through the move to SDN, work with them to understand where they are today and where they want to go. The assessment then allows us to create a personal roadmap for our clients to achieve their goals. With the SDN readiness assessment, we will be able to advise our client as to whether it is a worthwhile investment to move to network virtualisation.
Network virtualisation (NFV) and SDN were in the spotlight last year. How do they differ?
Typically, SDN is simplifying and automating the changes within the network. It helps to increase agility and time to market by automating changes; decrease costs by reducing the number of resources required to implement changes; and provides additional functions or versatility by linking applications with the network and enabling the applications to control the traffic through the network.
NFV takes advantage of low cost highly scalable x86 platforms to deliver large scale and flexible deployments, which is simplified by using SDN. This will increase throughout the NFV by adding more virtual instances, deliver new NFV functions without the need for specific hardware and deliver new services quickly with no waiting time for hardware to be delivered.
SDN can enable NFV and simplify its deployment by directing traffic to the NFV and automate changes associated with NFV and scale up/down, with on the fly changes.
Building SDNs that include NFV definitely makes sense, as the two together provide the ability to dynamically control the traffic that is going to the NFV platforms, simplifying deployments.
What challenges does virtualising the network bring about and how should enterprises deal with them?
As with any new technology, a certain level of skills enhancement is required. However one of the over-riding drivers for SDN is to simplify and automate functions-whilst there is complexity upfront, we expect this to get easier over time.
Network virtualisation is blurring the common demarcation lines between Network and Applications teams. This is going to drive changes to how the teams interoperate.
New skills will be required. For example, in the past, a network engineer will have had specific skills but now they need API and application skills.
According to IDC's forecast, organisations in Asia will be adopting the Choose-Your-Own-Device (CYOD) model instead of the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) model this year as the former enables them to better secure their data and to reduce support costs. What are your thoughts on this?
It's true that BYOD comes with a unique set of challenges-security concerns, access issues, legal questions, multiple devices and data ownership-that makes it hard to implement it as part of an organisation's mobile strategy.