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SN blogs: The security benefits of an SDN-enabled network

SN blogs: This week, an analyst says SDN could help secure the network; private cloud IaaS needs careful planning for success.

Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Jon Oltsik says that software-defined networking (SDN) could be a game changer for network security. In a recent ESG survey, 79% of respondents said that network security is more challenging than it was two years ago. Oltsik says this isn't surprising given that threats are more targeted and sophisticated and networks are more spread out with users continuing to add new devices. How can SDN help? Oltsik says that when he asked users that same question, he found that 28% of organizations would use SDN-enabled network security to selectively block malicious traffic from endpoints while still allowing normal traffic flows; about 23% of organizations would use SDN-enabled network security to centralize network security service policy and configuration management, and 23% of organizations would use SDN-enabled network security to automate network security remediation tasks. Bottom line, Oltsik says, is that an SDN-focused network security strategy would help with security efficacy, operational efficiency and overall business enablement.

Read more of Oltsik's take on how SDN can help with network security.

The future of NFV: A fully virtualized global WAN operator

Brian Washburn, service director for global business network and IT services at Current Analysis, says that even though it isn't possible right now, the potential exists for a fully virtualized global WAN operator in the future. There are many reasons why such an operator couldn't exist today; among them the fact that software routers don't perform quite as well as hardware routers at high speeds. Moreover, the pay-as-you-go model wouldn't work if you are pushing large amounts of data over a virtual machine router. In this case, Washburn says a static, long-term contract would be better. Washburn says while it is possible for a virtual global WAN provider to exist, it's just not economically feasible at this point in the game.

Read more of how NFV can transform into a virtual global WAN operation.

Hardware will always be a software enabler

If processing speeds and capabilities continue to grow, will hardware scaling become less useful? That's the question Ethereal Mind blogger Greg Ferro answers as he discusses the importance of hardware compared to software on his blog. Ferro says that hardware tends to disappear from center stage, but it is no less a part of the show than its software counterpart. Indeed, Ferro says that hardware is what gives software the performance, capacity, throughput and bandwidth that it needs to perform at its fastest speeds. Ferro says that hardware will be commoditized and modularized in the future, but it will always be a relevant part of networking.

Read more of Ferro's explanation on the importance of the hardware/software relationship.

Private cloud IaaS: Specific use case scenarios

Gartner Research Director Alan Waite blogs about the specific use cases for private cloud deployment. Waite says that enterprises have been putting too much emphasis on creating a private cloud infrastructure as a service. Putting the whole thing together can be costly. Waite says that there are simpler alternatives to extending a virtualized environment. He suggests adding virtual workload management, private platform as a service and virtual automation. In other words, pick only what you need. Waite says to not try to outpace cloud providers in terms of developing cloud services. Instead, focus on which aspects of a private cloud would be most beneficial to your business.

Read more about the specific use cases for private cloud IaaS according to Waite.

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