Why Software Defined Networking should be on everyone’s Software Defined Data Center must-have list
Organizations targeting a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) strategy place significant business importance on time-to-market, flexibility and agility within their IT infrastructure. For many of these businesses, their digital presence generates considerable revenue and requires agile data centers that can handle heavy web traffic flow and workload deployments securely.
As an integral part of an SDDC strategy, Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a critical element of an agile data center. But just how critical are we talking?
Technology assets - particularly networks - are at a “make or break” stance for businesses needing to process connections, services and applications at a rapid pace. Most networking - as well as contemporary security solutions - are rigid, complex or use vendor proprietary technologies and/or legacy components that are not ideal for managing a quickly evolving landscape.
In addition, network and security solutions are coming up short in automated east-west traffic routing between separated nodes and dynamic workload placement. Software Defined Networking offers the workload portability and reliability needed to meet digital business demands.
Reduce the spread of attacks in a data center with network virtualization
Cloud providers, independent software vendors and enterprise customers who are looking to set up managed services or a hybrid cloud environment usually have workload placement and disaster recovery as their main priority. In particular, they are looking for a solution that will:
- effectively respond to an increasing number of threats within the enterprise data center;
- minimize downtime during disaster recovery; and
- reduce monetary losses due to a security breach.
Virtual network security solutions can help implement the next-generation virtualized networking model for quicker provisioning during disaster recovery as well as enablement of micro-segmentation for deploying security controls inside the data center network to dissuade being compromised.
First, let’s take a look at how these types of solutions can help your customers with their disaster recovery needs.
Leverage SDN tools to alleviate threats by replicating primary disaster recovery sites
Everyone dreads the word “disaster.” An IT disaster may be caused by:
- power outage;
- redundant array of independent disks (RAID) failure;
- software faults;
- denial-of-Service (DoS) attack;
- or even intentional rouge activity
Unfortunately, the threat of disaster is an innate part of any business today as it can result in severe monetary losses in the form of penalties or compromised intelligence. What’s more, severe losses may even lead to the victimized company closing up shop for good.
How companies manage outages and their susceptibility to attacks sets them apart from their competition. In the event of a disaster, the best way to recover quickly and with minimal loss is by utilizing recovery sites. SDN tools, like VMware NSX, enable end-users so they can replicate and maintain their entire network and security environment – sites that are identical to their primary sites with no tradeoffs in functionality or performance.
This is a major “must have” for but there’s another issue that not many end-users know about. Next let’s take a look at lateral attacks and micro-segmentation.
Scale security capacity with dynamic workload placement and micro-segmentation
Riding the coattails of authorized users is how many modern attacks exploit enterprise data centers that utilize only a perimeter-centric network security approach. Once the attacker is in, they can move freely from workload to workload wreaking havoc across the data center.
Micro-segmentation can help combat attackers destructive lateral movement within a data center by breaking the data center down into smaller elements then managing each segment with specific IT security policies processes. These policies are assigned to data center applications at a workload level - even in multi-tenant, multi-siloed environments. Essentially, it’s protecting each piece of the data center independently.
By integrating the functionality of load balancing, routing, switching, and Firewall/ACL at the hypervisor layer, solutions like VMware NSX enable users to achieve a micro-segmentation approach. Using the distributed network services in the hypervisor, users can now provision workloads that include application context. This offers some reprieve to IT operations overwhelmed with keeping track of multiple virtual machine (VM) changes and also enables seamless movement of the VM and its associated networking context from one host to another – even across data centers to help minimize error and risk.
Network traffic no longer has to traverse through Layer 2 or Layer 3 devices to be sent to a firewall device, as those checks now happen at the hypervisor layer. Your customers can now scale their security capacity, along with their infrastructure.
Virtual network and security delivers time savings and peace-of-mind
Customers are frequently looking to save time and money, which is likely the primary reason they want to implement a SDDC. Still, adopting a SDDC strategy is no small feat. If your customers are considering SDDC but have not yet made the commitment, we can help develop the roadmap with a comprehensive SDDC-readiness assessment. Download the PDF.
With SDN solutions, you can deliver an accelerated time-to-value to your customers with quicker and easier deployments, virtualization and disaster recovery. This can produce the competitive advantage they seek through hybrid cloud infrastructure and an optimized IT environment with smooth adoption of SDDC.