Three truths: SDN is inevitable. SDN will dramatically simplify network operations. SDN will significantly reduce network equipment cost. 

By now, its clear that SDN is not a passing fad, so now you need to start contemplating how and to what degree you and your organization can or must digest this “next big thing.”

There is no denying that new technology architectures, like SDN, can introduce risk into the network infrastructure. You deploy these new technologies when you feel comfortable that the risk is far outweighed by the certain benefits that the new architecture will deliver. But, you don’t take these decisions lightly.

So the big question you’re probably asking yourself is, “How far do I want to leap? And, how much risk am I willing to take deploying SDN technologies?” What if you could dip your toe into the SDN pond, introduce significant increased value to network operations, but without any risk? Using Open SDN to build out a cost-effective monitoring fabric is just such a low-risk application. 

Since an SDN monitoring fabric operates out of band, it doesn’t put any of your production network at risk and provides a low-friction approach to reap the benefits of this new architecture. Using only traffic from network taps and SPAN ports, a monitoring SDN network can operate with essentially zero impact on production traffic. That’s a perfect first SDN application and, in fact, it is how many of our customers go into first production.

Next-Generation Monitoring Fabric

Our Big Tap network monitoring application can turn traditional passive taps and SPAN ports into a dynamic, multi-tenant monitoring fabric that dramatically increases the scale of your monitoring network and significantly increases the utility of your performance monitoring and security tools. And, with our latest Big Tap release available now, you can deploy it with role-based access controls to various operating groups that need controlled and secure access to different network flows.  It supports a self-service GUI interface so various business groups can manage their individual environments independent of each other.  With overlapping policy support, each business group can write their own policy without requiring any central co-ordination. 

If you want to get your SDN sea legs, then network monitoring with Big Tap is a perfect first step. You won’t need an escape hatch or a parachute, just the software, OpenFlow switches, and a nice pair of sunglasses to bask in the glory of increased performance and flexibility of your monitoring network operations. 

See an example of how other big corporate customers have already achieved great operational benefits using Open SDN monitoring fabric to achieve dramatic improvement in network monitoring functions.

Jason Matlof, Big Switch Networks VP of Marketing