Network virtualizations and Software Defined Networking have become the talk of the town these days. Simply put, their ability to provide stability, drive network performances and enhance scalability have made them one of the preferred choices these days. However, as is the case with any new technology, even Network virtualizations and SDNs have their security issues, which render them vulnerable to the recent security breaches.
An SDN is ideally supposed to control the data planes within the network, in turn controlling the topology and provide services related to data forwarding, thereby giving flexibility which might not be available otherwise. Network virtualizations are yet another additional feature of SDNs, which means that it helps create a virtualized network on top of a physical system, versus making it over a physical server.
Delivering SDN capabilities can avoid the limitations of SDN software. Take SD-WANs, for example. “Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) brings SDN principles to the network connecting our locations,” says Shlomo Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks, an SD-WAN provider, “With SD-WAN as a service, companies converge networking and security without the complexity and operational overhead of running your own SD-WAN appliances.”Network virtualization and SDNs have the following issues:
- Excessive burden on software
Since most of our work is dependent on physically present hardware, the mindsets have changed over the years. Commodity switches and servers can be more prone to faults and unintentional failures, which means that there is an increased dependency on software, versus hardware. For this very reason, software has to be made foolproof, which means reliability and scalability need to be ingrained into the software right from the development stages. However, in the race to the front, a lot of software vendors compromise on the security checks, which make the software prone to excessive security breaches, making it an open arena for intentional violations.
- High-performance expectations from software
The software has become the king within the network virtualisation domain. Given the elasticity of virtual machines, there is a lot of expectations for these devices to be able to scale in and out with ease. This means higher monitor resource usages and a drain on the functionality of the software. Unlike Cloud technology, there is heavy pressure on the Network virtualization software to improve performance and increase efficiency.
- Usability and Manageability
Network virtualization is aimed at taking into consideration thousands and thousands of networks, sometimes even in millions, which put a strain on the usability and manageability of the software resources. This unprecedented scaling causes a downfall in the long run and needs to be taken into consideration eventually.
- Analytics and visibility
To troubleshoot problems, there needs to be a lot of underlying clarity. This means that one should be able to look into tunnels to understand how a particular physical path can prove to be a key in optimising a network’s performance in the long run. Software vendors often tout the analysis capabilities of their products, which help in understanding trends. However, despite the functionality, the implementation of such solutions is primal and necessary, which focuses only on data capturing and not appropriate data analysis. To improve analytics and concentrate more on visibility, the Network virtualization software needs to be upgraded, to provide a more robust model of functionality.
These were some of the opportunities and challenges with Network virtualization software which are doing the rounds of the markets these days. It will be some time before the whole concept is taken to an all new level and things are improved over a period.