Network Design and SDN
New SDN-enabled network designs could increase network utilization by altering traffic distribution.
I recently posted a blog at Chesapeake Netcraftsmen titled Network Designs That Support SDN that might be of interest. I have been reading a lot about software-defined networking, and there is a set of documents on the Net that I have found interesting and educational. My take-away from my reading is that the three-tier network design (Core, Distribution, and Access, with a lot of consideration given to uplink oversubscription) will soon be replaced with Leaf-Spine network designs, which are described in my Netcraftsman post. These new designs have a lot to offer. There are also new traffic distribution mechanisms that promise to increase network utilization.
Another interesting characteristic of these new network designs is that with a moderate amount of additional equipment, they can handle any traffic mix without blocking. The implication is that the real-time traffic (i.e. voice, video, real-time or near-real-time application flows) can be easily handled on the network. I'll have to update my presentation for the upcoming Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando on handling video on enterprise networks, to include some of this information. While most networks haven't yet adopted these new designs, I'm pretty confident that they will begin to appear in cutting-edge companies that are looking for an edge over their competitors.
Knowing about these new network designs is useful if you're planning a network upgrade. Start talking with vendors to see what they recommend and how their equipment functions in these new designs.