At Tangent Solutions, we understand the importance and positive impact of Software Defined Networking (SDN) infrastructure in relation to connecting business solutions, people, and customers.
SDN is a modern approach to IT networking infrastructure that, when architected correctly, delivers beneficial business results, and overcomes traditional network issues.
Traditional IT networking issues that may be familiar to businesses include underperforming networks that lead to failures in application performance, poor elasticity, as well as lack of network control and visibility.
A well-engineered SDN allows businesses to ‘right size’ their provisioning, maximise resilience, deliver traffic engineering, network automations, and integrations.
Moreover, the cloud-based network dashboard enables proactive control and management on a more granular level than traditional networking, as well as the added value of network derived business data.
The Key to Software Defined Networking is Engineering
Architecting SDN requires varied techniques and a different approach to traditional networks.
It offers the ability to integrate into business systems, which is an integral part of engineering a future proof innovation platform from which a business can easily scale, as well as grow solution integrations.
- Traditional networking architectures are frequently incorrectly provisioned, they often have underutilised capacity, and the management of the system is tedious, complex, as well as manual. In part, configuration complexity and engineering enable a level of network resilience, as well as control, on a network that lacks essential visibility.
The complexity and configuration of traditional networking infrastructures make scaling harder and more costly.
Furthermore, this complexity requires increased resourcing to manage as well as maintain. A major pain point is troubleshooting, as it is a manually intensive task which requires a lot of time.
- SDN’s evolving principles around engineering networks mean businesses architect, configure and manage SDN differently. This surfaces a host of expertise, skills and true cost of ownership hurdles for businesses. Businesses can select to partner in this regard, either choosing a once-off project management consultation, alternatively, a business could opt for project management and ongoing support through contracting SDN as a Service.
- SDN as a Service offers the best of all worlds. At Tangent, we utilise the Cisco Meraki product stack when designing SDNs for clients, as the Cisco Meraki SDN offering provides comprehensive capabilities and functionality. We purposefully built the Tangent x Cisco Meraki SDN as a continuous managed service to ensure the client benefits in several ways, including:
- An SDN built on the right consultation practices and technology ensures best practice architecture, pragmatic planning, and installation, seamless set up, product lifecycle management as well as plug and play replacement.
- Correctly architected IT networking infrastructure ensures ‘right sized’ provisioning and integration into the broader business environment, applications, as well as on-premise and cloud data centres. Getting the base right for future network growth, application integration and innovation in the business.
- Purposefully designed SDN architectures engineered for greenfields projects as well as brownfields architecture reconfiguration. These customer centric designs ensure the implementation of best practices, policies, tagging and procedures suited to the business.
- Specialists save businesses time and money as adapting new technology takes time. Businesses benefit from preferential rates and SLAs from an expert partner, with 24/7 support from a dedicated team.
- Direct access to spares already in the country, meaning reserves are kept on hand and readily available. Moreover, the plug and play functionality ensures there is a limited need for additional onsite technicians and reconfiguration.
- Access to the cloud-based dashboard allows businesses to view their SDN health from anywhere. The granular control and functionality enable businesses to also do remote troubleshooting, software management and updates.
- SDN as a Service means hardware replacement, and lifecycle management is built into the service. This management approach takes infrastructure from a CapEx to OpEx consideration and offers a more holistic view of infrastructure TCO as well as its management.
Correctly Engineering SDN Requires Modernised Practices for a Competitive Advantage
Taking a modern approach to networking allows businesses to activate a competitive approach to work and business spaces.
This includes hybrid working, remote working as well as traditional office work, or the connecting of dispersed office locations.
- In the modern world, SDN enables the connection of a range of data centres as well as offices across a vast expanse and topography to enable a myriad of devices in relation to various protocols.
- Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) ensures businesses scale easier and enables elastic bandwidth demand. Moreover, software defined WAN provides a 2 to 3x efficiency improvement in relation to traditional practice.
- Network software in the modern network stack allows for granularity of control over the bandwidth available. As a native monitoring system, this dashboard ensures businesses gain deep insights and visibility from the start. The purpose built cloud dashboard also allows for better endpoint management, improved fault tolerance, fault detection and built in software testing, including cable testing and proactive flagging. In contrast to traditional networking monitoring, a business would require additional toolsets and software packages.
- Multipath forwarding and dynamic reallocation, due to granular control, allows businesses to leverage network capacity according to application priority, reallocate bandwidth due to failures as well as shifting application demands.
- Leverage control at the edge means a business can adjust for competing demands during resource constraints, therefore increasing infrastructure resilience. This allows companies to reduce callouts as well as the need to send or maintain resources on site.
- Traffic engineering optimisation is essentially the result of control through endpoint management, application prioritisation and management, as well as the management of bursts at the network edge.
The Value of Software Define Networking Delivers Far Reaching Benefits
SDN innovations are transforming wireless technology into digital innovation platforms.
Businesses need to plan for a future of increased wireless usage, protocols, and capabilities usage to support digital business.
According to Gartner, 50% of enterprise endpoints will utilise networking services to deliver capabilities beyond networking by 2025.
- SDN informs the foundation for digital innovation in a number of ways. Location tracking and radar sensing can surface key insights about your audience versus the clientele and foot traffic. In turn, this could give you valuable information about your business location depending on the commodities sold. As the use cases for wi-fi grow, so do the infrastructure capabilities, however, this depends on the infrastructure’s ability to utilise these value adds. This is where the infrastructure’s potential in terms of integrations, tagging, policies, protocols (think IoT devices), as well as automation are important for business.
- Cost efficiency in SDN comes from a variety of factors. One is the ability to correctly provision and ensure resilience in relation to the reduction of failures as well as downtime. Another efficiency comes from the minimisation of complexity and efficient scaling of SDNs, as a result, businesses lower per port user costs.
- As SDN evolves, so should our approach to IT networking infrastructure. Businesses should look at the modern infrastructure stack through a lens of possibility and innovation. Its integration into larger business applications is fundamentally new. As such, the possibilities are infinite, and its use cases are still in their infancy. Businesses need the proper management and support in place in order to ignite current and long-term value potential.
- Fault resilience is built in, as the network is now managed by software which allows for increased control and visibility of the network. Additionally, this control can be automated, enabling dynamic shifting based on communication patterns and prevailing fault conditions.
- The Software defined cloud dashboard enables simplified coordination and orchestration. Meaning businesses gain a full view of the network from anywhere.
- Automatic updates can be scheduled through the dashboard.
- Businesses avoid expensive and delayed outages with plug-and-play technology that allows for rapid zero touch deployment.
- Template functionality provides simpler scalability and agility. Essentially, these templates allow your network to grow and adapt as your business does.
Engineering a scalable and ‘right sized’ SDN requires expertise and skills.
Moreover, the integration of the infrastructure into business solutions needs strategic alignment, planning and delivery.
Tangent is a business consulting firm specialising in technology, encompassing IT networking infrastructure, cloud services, intelligent automation, software development and cyber security.
The Tangent Connect function is a specialised Cisco Meraki partner in Africa, with over 1000 deployments and counting.
Our SDN as a Service offering is underpinned by experience and knowledge spanning various industries.
Based on years of business insights, we are committed to delivering networks of the future.
We understand that networks need to enable value added services and business solution integrations that enable business innovation.