Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Will SDN kill the networking star?

Most early stage technology trends generate some bold proclamations of their impact. Software Defined Networking is no different. While it will impact the day-to-day job of a network admin, it won't replace them entirely.


Jim Duffy had a nice article in Network World where he debunked some of the over-the-top claims of SDN, and had some suggestions of what network admins could be doing to be ready for the future.

At Uplogix, we get some of the same kinds of concerns from network admins when they hear about the automation we bring to network management. It's not that our product is going to take away someone's job, Uplogix is going to make their job better with more useful tools for getting things done. Few people list frustration or inefficiency as parts of their jobs that they enjoy. And who likes 2 a.m. service windows and Sunday interruptions to reboot a router?

With SDN, Duffy suggests that network admins will need to take a lead role in integrating new SDN/DevOps environments with existing legacy networks. Even though the hype is that SDN will eventually take over traditional networks, there will be years of legacy and hybrid networks.

For comparison, server virtualization didn't kill off all the sys admins, but it did drive evolution and skills around provisioning, management and automation.

In most jobs, it's good to be learning new skill sets and tools to remain relevant. Even with Uplogix customers -- there is a good chance we have some advanced features that might not be part of an admin's initial Local Management toolset. To answer this need, we can always do training, or keep in mind that the Uplogix Support Site contains a knowledge base that's easy to search.