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Top 10 reasons to use open source software defined networking

Gary Newbold, Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Japan, Extreme Networks | Dec. 18, 2014
In this article, Gary Newbold, Vice President of Asia-Pacific and Japan for Extreme Networks, highlights the top 10 reasons why organizations should consider the adoption of open source software-defined networking (SDN).

Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of open source software (OSS), which in itself is now firmly entrenched in the enterprise IT world. SDN simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure.

The SDN market is projected to surge from $360 million to $3.52 billion in 2018[1]. Even in the Asia-Pacific region, open SDN is becoming an increasingly important topic for both vendors and end-user organizations alike[2].

The global SDN market seems to be primarily driven by the increasing need for mobility and efficient network infrastructure. The increasing demand for cloud services is also supporting the growth of the global SDN market. Yet, there is a relatively shy implementation of the solution by IT staff in organizations. A number of them are dabbling in it, but they still have many questions surrounding the deployment of this new technology. Some of the factors inhibiting the growth of this market include lack of standardization and awareness among IT decision makers.

In this article, Gary Newbold, Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Japan, Extreme Networks, highlights the top 10 reasons why organizations should consider the adoption of open source SDN.

1.    Better Quality Code
Eighty percent of open software users chose open source SDN based on quality[3]. Removing company boundaries and allowing any developer to participate, debate, compromise and inspire each other is why code written in open source communities is of higher quality and doesn't degrade over time. Linux has become the benchmark for code quality: open source software quality outpaced proprietary code for the first time in 2013[4].

2.    Rapid Innovation
Imagine rolling out services and products without worrying about the network. Having more network control via open SDN allows developers to innovate independent of hardware and software. The ability to build new products or services increases dramatically to focus on what matters most. Companies get involved in collaborative software development to advance business objectives and to benefit from industry innovation. According to Linux Foundation Collaborative Trends Report, 91 percent of business managers and executives surveyed ruled collaborative software development from somewhat to very important to their business. Nearly 50 percent said they got involved in collaborative development because it allows them to innovate or help transform their industry[5].

3.    Security
Although security might once have been considered a weakness in open software, it certainly is not today. According to the 2014 Future of Open Source - 8th Annual Survey, 72 percent said they chose open source specifically because of security[6]. This relates to the transparency of open source as well as the scrutiny it receives from users.


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