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Cisco: If It’s Not Software Defined, It’s Legacy

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Cisco: If It’s Not Software Defined, It’s Legacy
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According to Wikibon, only 10% of internal IT workloads represent true private cloud. The private cloud is simply a virtualized environment, lacking the characteristics that we associate with public cloud, such as user self-service, automated deployment and utility billing. This is because private clouds are often built on legacy data center networks, rather than software defined architectures.

Since SDN (Software Defined Networking) first emerged in 2012, there has been a lot of criticism on the networking industry focused on it’s inability to keep up with the automation and virtualization advances that we have seen in the server and storage industries. In my opinion, this seems a bit unfair as the distributed nature of networking makes it more difficult to virtualize and automate than servers and storage. These challenges include:

  • Distributed Configuration – Each individual component of the network needs to be configured in harmony with the others to ensure connectivity. This makes the system very brittle and one bad configuration can take down the entire network.
  • Automation – Even if devices are standardized, many will lack an object model and northbound APIs and this makes automation difficult.
  • Heterogeneous Environments – Many data center environments will have multiple vendors, numerous device types and different code versions. As a result, configurations cannot be templated or automated, so significant effort is required and inconsistency is inevitable.
  • Service Insertion – Middle boxes such as firewalls and load balancers sprawl across many data centre environments. These devices reduce performance, make configuration rigid and impede workload mobility.

Read the entire article here, If It’s Not Software Defined, It’s Legacy

via the fine folks at Cisco Systems.

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