Software-Defined Architecture: What To Consider

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What does it mean to have a software-defined architecture (SDA)? Most folks seem to think it will be important in the future, but there's very little agreement on what it means and how it's useful.

For example, in a recent ESG Research Report, we tried to understand how people define software-defined networks, which are just one aspect of a software-defined architecture. We had a wide range of responses, ranging from automation and NFV to control/data plane separation. Those who are trying to be precise with an early definition of SDN may sound rather academic, but those who wave their hands and apply "SDN" to almost anything modern in networking end up sounding like carnival barkers.

Much of the interest in SDA comes from data centers that want to provide services similar to public cloud providers like AWS. But simply deploying some virtualized servers does not create an SDA.

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