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  • A closer look at SDN vs. traditional networking

    Software-defined networking, or SDN, allows network engineers and admins to respond quickly to changing business environments. When it comes to SDN vs. traditional networking, the latter is often viewed separately from SDN. While a typical data center may not seem appropriate for SDN, software-defined technologies can be used effectively and efficiently in a harmonious relationship with more traditional networking. With the right plan, an IT team can create a single, unified infrastructure.

    This three-part guide covers the latest SDN developments, weighing the SDN pros and cons, and looks specifically at how SDN options can inform decisions in real-time situations. While there are disadvantages of software-defined networking, SDN products can combine the power of big data analytics and traditional networking, allowing them to monitor traffic flows and network latency. There are also software-defined applications, which perform tasks in a software-defined networking architecture and can create flexibility, efficiency and resiliency for data centers. And the SDN enterprise market will only grow when Microsoft debuts its Azure Stack in conjunction with Windows Server 2016.

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  • Consider these SD-WAN architecture pitfalls before adoption

    The return on investment for SD-WAN can be high, but there are a range of factors to consider, including optimization and existing SLAs, before implementation. Continue Reading

  • OpenStack infrastructure turns to containers

    OpenStack is far from perfect. In fact, there are a number of hurdles it needs to clear before widespread adoption in the enterprise becomes a reality. However, a recent technology trend might just be what the OpenStack infrastructure needs, and it's one that many originally thought would be OpenStack's death sentence -- containers.

    A recent study from OpenStack's user survey showed that containers generated the most interest among the community, a sign that IT is ready to take the leap from virtualization to containers. OpenStack leaders say containers are the central piece to the underlying cloud framework that OpenStack lives on.

    Meanwhile, data analytics continues to drive the next wave of IT ops tools by combining input from various platforms to create predictive information for the enterprise. So where does IT go from here? Read on to find out.

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  • Improve UC management with SDN and other 21st-century tech

    With all the new unified communications (UC) applications and services on the market, enterprise IT has to make sure they don't crash the network. UC applications such as voice and video tax network performance. These demanding traffic streams test bandwidth limitations; UC management is critical for keeping networks running smoothly.

    Fortunately, technological allies in the form of software-defined networking (SDN) can help UC. SDN allows a network to adapt in real time to changing application and user needs. SDN automates the configuration of certain devices, like switches and routers.

    Another ally to aid UC management today is quality of service (QoS). With QoS enabled in the network, VoIP packets retain top priority and keep traveling without significant delay through the network.

    UC applications may be taxing on the network, but they're also vital for communication inside and outside the enterprise. In this handbook, we explore some of the key ways network engineers can manage UC traffic flows and satisfy end-user demands.

    This handbook looks at how video, VoIP and collaboration apps affect network performance and how IT pros can best manage UC now.

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  • Optimize hybrid cloud performance with these data management tips

    Hybrid cloud allows organizations to tap into the benefits of both public and private cloud. But how should IT manage data to avoid performance bottlenecks? Continue Reading

  • Physical network gear isn't going anywhere

    For decades, hardware has reigned as king in the network, but the deluge of hype surrounding cloud, virtualization and software-defined networking has some asking how long physical network gear can hold on to its crown.

    As we see in this edition of Network Evolution, however, even in today's software-defined and virtualized networks, hardware still has a firm foothold. Virtual overlays need hardware underlays; SDN fabrics require network gear; physical switches handle east-west traffic and physical routers connect data centers to the outside world.

    Yes, the role of physical network gear is evolving in the SDN era, but it won't disappear anytime soon. Find out how early adopters are using hardware in their virtual environments.

    Also in this issue, learn why content delivery network services have become more affordable, with a plethora of new options available to meet a wide variety of needs. Even some small and midsize enterprises now find CDN services -- once prohibitively expensive for all but the titans of media -- within their reach. Find out how such organizations have already put them to good use.

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