It may not be talked about as often as it should, but delivering massive amounts of content over enterprise networks is a challenge for network administrators at countless organizations. Whether deploying new applications or disseminating video to all employees in an organization, many corporate networks are not capable of handling the sudden surge and proliferation in network traffic. In the past, the go-to solution for these types of problems was adding more hardware to the network. However, today, software-defined networking offers the solution to these problems. Some SDN solutions are comprised of both hardware and software, which isn’t really where the efficiency is. A software-only approach to network management is really the way for network admins to have their cake and eat it too.
“ECDNs use existing network infrastructure to meet organizational needs.”
Using software-defined content delivery networks, companies will be able to achieve two things simultaneously – lower costs and improve network performance. Software-defined ECDNs are able to achieve this because, in addition to not needing additional hardware of any kind, they are also able to use existing network infrastructures to meet organizational needs. Using this type of solution, companies can broadcast video or send large video files to all employees and still maintain network integrity. Being able to send video content, like key messages from the CEO, to a large and scattered workforce is essential, but the execution of that process has always presented certain dilemmas. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.
What can software-defined networking do to improve enterprise content delivery?
While the word “software-defined” has been used in varying contexts, in essence, the term refers to taking control away from hardware and moving it into the software domain, explained No Jitter. Typically, when network managers wanted amend network infrastructure, or mitigate issues, they had to make changes to actual equipment. With SDN, network managers can circumvent all the troubleshooting and tinkering that they found cumbersome because the solution is controlled through applications. And because applications can be accessed from virtually any location, they can integrate perfectly with the cloud, and admins will be able to perform necessary tasks in much less time.
Applying this concept to enterprise content delivery networks, vendors like Kollective have introduced the concept of SDN controllers that allow organizations to easily manage content over their networks. With the centralization of control, the whole process becomes streamlined, and IT staff is freed up to focus on other tasks. Whereas previous manual configuration processes were monotonous, time consuming and annoying, centralizing control of the network through software raises efficiency and allows various technology systems to work together without causing disruption.
How do SD ECDNs work?
Given the rise in video, IoT technology and millions of gigabytes traveling through enterprise networks at any given time, network administrators need to know that the methods they employ to manage content delivery work perfectly. Not only should the solution they use help them improve network performance, it should also reduce expenditure and be easy to use. As such, SD ECDNs should use network virtualization and cloud technology to centrally manage issues immediately and effectively. What a SD ECDN really offers is empowerment.
Computer Weekly noted that SD ECDNs take control of network resources and get subscriber packets to the application instances that are designated to process them. In other words, a SDN sees a new flow arriving and holds the associated packets until it knows how to handle the flow in the best way possible. It sends a message to the network control, which applies logic to determine what the best course of action is. The provisioning and orchestration of the processes is fully automated in the software. Managed in such a way, the SDN introduces new, previously untapped network potential. Before, network elements required some manual commands to be entered by IT staff to manage flow or proliferation. These actions were never done in real time. However, a SD ECDN, does configure networks in real time, making the whole affair much easier.
Ultimately, large video files affect an enterprise network the same way a blackout affects a mobile network. During a blackout, most people get the impulse to take out their phones and call others. With everyone on the mobile networks at once, reception is often negatively impacted. However, with the SD ECDN approach, users never experience interrupted access. Using this type of technology, enterprises never again have to worry about large content delivery slowing down their networks or important information failing to reach organizational stakeholders at the necessary times because the network automatically adjusts and orchestrates a way for all the information to make it to its destination unaffected. Just like having a magician traveling through your fiber optic cables, arranging all the information in the perfect configuration, an SD ECDN can take your existing network infrastructure and make it perform like it’s something else entirely.