SDN Adoption: Are Businesses Ready to Jump in?

Enterprises are only scratching the surface of SDN deployment.

There are as many aspects of software-defined networking (SDN) as there are research experts and developers. While SDN is a much-heralded technology, there are varying opinions about its infrastructure and performance. As a result, it is essential to analyze both the high and low points of this new technology. The following information is designed to help enterprises make an informed decision about SDN.

SDN Use Cases

Use cases are instrumental in highlighting the pros and cons of SDN. While SDN is designed to enhance data center and wide area network performance, it is surely not exempt from gaps. In fact, when companies look to adopt SDN, they are primarily looking at its infrastructure. They want networking systems that enable automation and make daily operational challenges easier. The challenge is that SDN infrastructure cannot always meet these objectives. Here is why:

  • SDN infrastructure is only the mechanism or control plane.
  • Companies need network applications to correlate with SDN for optimal efficiency.
  • The right network applications ensure elastic scaling, agile provisioning, and dis-aggregation.
  • Real-time application deployment and automation services need to be integrated within the SDN infrastructure.

SDN on its own cannot fulfill every company directive or goal. The infrastructure relies on compatible and fully integrated apps to ensure maximum functionality and performance.

 

SDN Integration Example

A good example of integration is SDN technologies running with load balancers. In these scenarios, balancers communicate with SDN controllers to collect information on switch infrastructures. This helps identify potential issues that can impact user experience. If any are found, traffic steering requests are implemented to move flows near the hotspot. This is a crucial since most controllers utilize a ‘set and forget’ approach for program flow.

Another example of SDN integration is when it is utilized to ensure quality of service (QoS).

  • Video requests are handled by application delivery controllers (ADC).
  • ADC sets QoS marking on forward paths through the switch infrastructure and onto video services.
  • ADC calls the controllers and requests to set the priority out of the server at the same level.

In this scenario, the response priority is set at the same level so users receive bi-directional QoS for their videos.

 

Adoption Levels

While the future of SDN deployment is uncertain, comanies are observing the integration closely. In fact, many businesses are asking why it hasn’t reached peak levels yet. The reality is that SDN is being adopted at significant rates.

Reasons for slow deployment include the fact that use cases are still in progress and are not fully understood yet; many companies are simply unaware of SDN. Further, the adoption of SDN infrastructure requires OpenFlow or other southbound interfaces to switches. With this switch requirement, not all companies are able to deploy SDN across the board. Even with data infrastructure refreshes, centers are only limited to their existing traditional networks.

SDN, when deployed, can correlate with any network so long as the right components are present.

Investing in VoIP Business Phone Systems

Businesses continue to realize the importance of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems across several industries. Cloud-based systems can truly enhance productivity and performance. VoIP is designed to ensure optimal customer service, from small commercial startups to Fortune 500 companies.

For companies still debating whether to switch over to VoIP, the following information highlights all the benefits of this burgeoning trend. From centralizing client communications to driving daily business, there are a multitude of reasons to adopt VoIP communications.

 

Cost Effectiveness

VoIP is a cost effective alternative to conventional business phone systems. When considering switching over from traditional systems, keep the following in mind:

  • These cloud-based systems are offered by multiple providers with different pricing plans.
  • Customers are only responsible for monthly costs per user, and for the calling minutes they use.
  • VoIP business phone systems are hosted in the cloud; there is no need to purchase expensive on-site equipment.
  • There are never any additional costs for maintenance and upkeep.

 

VoIP Maintenance

VoIP maintenance is managed by providers, so customers are never assessed additional fees for updates and services. This saves businesses a lot of time and money while ensuring systems run at peak performance levels. Providers are also responsible for system upgrades, which guarantees clients have the most up-to-date technologies available.

 

Business Scaling

Business scaling is one of the biggest benefits of VoIP business phone systems. Clients are able to:

  • easily scale up and down their services for increased or decreased work-forces,
  • hire employees during busy and peak work seasons,
  • manage their systems more efficiently during downtime and slow periods, and
  • add or remove applications and services based on workforce size.

 

VoIP Features

VoIP systems are equipped with a myriad of built-in features that can help any business run more efficiently. This includes call recording and time of day routing, which is essential in managing employee-customer relations. Live call monitoring also enables owners to listen in on any incoming or outgoing calls. This is crucial in ensuring optimal customer service for new and existing clients.

 

Access Options

Flexibility is the key to success for any customer service platform. With VoIP business systems, companies can:

  • easily access their systems over the Internet,
  • correlate their systems with existing broadband Internet connections,
  • place or receive calls in real-time over dependable connections, and
  • allow remote employees to conduct business on the road.

 

Better Security

Security is always a high business priority. Internet-based phone systems are designed to ensure discreet and secure communications. In fact, VoIP systems are consistently monitored and upgraded by security teams, ensuring the highest level of protection across the board. This includes firewalls and other security components that ensure maximum privacy for business communications.

 

Customization Options

VoIP offers better customization options for businesses. Unlike on-site phone systems, VoIP maintenance is done on the Internet. This helps companies expand their systems and increase maximum functionality. Clients are also able to easily integrate any new or existing features as they see fit.

In this day and age, client communications can make or break a business, and companies need reliable, affordable, and dependable phone systems. VoIP is simply the best alternative for increasing customer and employee satisfaction levels.