Among the many businesses as well as technology companies that I have worked with or for, one key assumption is taken for granted: highly-skilled (and typically pony-tailed) network experts are scarce today and predictably getting scarcer year by year. As a result, many companies report that network changes take in the order of weeks to execute. Granted, some of the lead time is due to network complexity. However, much of the delay is simply due to the extremely high workload put on a shrinking pool of network administrators. Due to network environments growing in complexity and increasing in security demands, the workload is likely to continue growing at a rapid pace into the forseeable future. At some point, like a John Deere tractor in the mud, networking departments could simply stall in place.
SDN shows the promise of automating the drudgery of network administration, breaking vendor lockin so that network admins can pick best of breed tools, and preventing security exposures from being exploited. That’s why SDN is good for companies and good for network administrators – regardless of their hairstyle!
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