Software Defined Networking (SDN) is not a fancy name for a router upgrade or the bells and whistles of some other piece of network gear. SDN gives your business superpowers.

I talk with customers every day about the challenges and opportunities they see in this time of digital transformation. With all the capabilities for fundamentally changing your business for the better, I’ve been thinking lately about the parallels between architecting an enterprise with all the tools available today and the rise of superhero cinematic universes. I’m a great fan of superhero movies and I think the capabilities any organization can deploy can make IT leaders feel like the world savers on the big screen. These major superhero universes span many movies and are architected to be greater than the sum of their parts. Central characters and plot devices provide the connective tissue that creates this storytelling alchemy.

SDN can provide the connections to make your enterprise greater than the sum of its parts.

SDN is an approach that leads with software and reduces the number of physical components involved in the network architecture while vastly increasing what that network can do for you. The very nature of the “network” is abstracted from the physical devices and media on which it runs. Telecom consultant Evan Kirstel recently described SDN as bringing “ecosystems of technologies, applications and new capabilities that can be enabled across the network. The network is both the connection between points A and B and the gateway into every other capability the enterprise requires.”

The SDN approach lays the foundation to deploy a variety of technologies and capabilities across the network. SD-WAN is one of the superpowers SDN enables, providing an overlay network across your WAN so you can manage all your connections – across different network types – as a single network. That improves security, efficiency and management. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is another set of tools that can build network components – firewalls for instance – when and where you need them without having to go through a hardware procurement cycle. These are just a couple examples of the superpowers SDN brings.

Is it fast? Like a mutant speedster. However, bandwidth and throughput are not the sole criteria in thinking about your network in this software-driven model. The network is no longer just a transmission pipe. It’s a fundamental part of the architecture of your enterprise. It’s the connective tissue that turns your people, your assets, your data, your applications and your strategy into a business.

Superheroes go to work with their superpowers. SDN can be your superpower.

If you’re ready to fly or leap tall buildings in a single bound, let’s talk. We’ll show you how to use your superhero powers for good (and for the good of your business, too).

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