Blog post

Deploying SDN Overlays

By Andrew Lerner | June 02, 2014 | 0 Comments


While a lot has been written about SDN overlays, a really concise set of “best practices” for deploying them was hard to come by.

In addition, there are a number of general misconceptions around SDN with the result being that deploying SDN is a lot more art than science at this point. There is not a lot of experience with these newer architectures out there, and in most cases legacy still runs the world.  For example, there are still more more global implementations of Frame Relay than SDN. Thus, as SDN implementations and consequent “best practices” are scarce in the mainstream, my colleagues Mark Fabbi and Joe Skorupa (@joe_skorupa) just published this written research available to Gartner subscribers.

     Three Key Challenges to Resolve Before Deploying an SDN Overlay

     22 May 2014 | ID: G00263028 | Mark Fabbi | Joe Skorupa

Summary:  SDN overlay solutions can appear to be a simple way for network and virtualization teams to quickly gain network agility without changing the existing physical network. However, overlay vendors often make assumptions that can degrade the performance and reliability of the resulting implementation.

This is a nice/concise read on what you should do when deploying an overlay, and a few snippets from the report include:

  • it is not all about the network as staffing and visibility/management is also really important
  • even in a highly virtualized environment, the majority of devices attached to the network are non-virtualized.

In addition to this research, we have a more detailed architectural review of network virtualization from Simon Richard (@SimonSDN) …

     Improving Data Center Agility With Network Virtualization

     17 April 2014 | ID: G00260952 | Simon Richard

Summary: Virtualization will not fully deliver its promise of agility as long as networks are statically provisioned and managed. To achieve the agility and scale demanded by the modern business, IT organizations must evaluate one of the first use cases for SDN: network virtualization. 

So if you’re considering deploying an SDN overlay, I would highly recommend you check these out…

Regards, Andrew

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