E-Handbook:

Your guide to embedding SDN in data centers, from start to finish

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After you define an SDN data center, what's the next step?

Because the answer still varies depending on whom you ask, many conversations about software-defined networking wisely begin with the question: "What is SDN?" According to our own definition, "In a software-defined network, a network administrator can shape traffic from a centralized control console without having to touch individual switches, and can deliver services to wherever they are needed in the network, without regard to what specific devices a server or other device is connected to."

Simple, right? Well, maybe not simple. As it turns out -- in the data center at least -- plenty of complications remain. While the technology has come a long, long way over the past several years, deployments can still require a fair amount of heavy lifting. In the three articles that comprise this guide to the SDN data center, our experts explore the challenges of the SDDC transition and how to anticipate and overcome them. For instance, building a private cloud using SDN is not for the understaffed or the faint of heart, despite the clear benefits of software-defined networking. To decide what to do, there are key questions you should ask as you weigh whether software-defining your data center is right for your organization right now.

If you do decide to move forward in deploying an SDN data center, then you'll need a clear plan for your legacy equipment; that is why we also offer insights into several possible approaches for strategically reconciling old and new.

As our experts explore SDDCs, they not only explain the nature of the SDN data center, they help you determine where you need to go from here.