Why The Future Of Networking Is Software Defined

Rajat Kumar Arora, Chief Commercial Officer, Spectra Spectra is India's first purely fiber optic based internet service provider with a state-of-the-art owned fibre network capable of delivering speeds of 100 Mbps and beyond for its Home and Business customers. By offering cutting-edge futuristic technology at affordable prices to consumers across Delhi/ NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai; Spectra is set to revolutionize the Internet experience in India.

Over the last few years, transformative leaps in technology have changed our approach to business operations. From brick-and-mortar datacentres, data storage has moved to the cloud. On the other hand, networks have traditionally been hardware dependent with multiple devices such as firewalls, routers, load balancers, switches. with complex architectures. This creates an enormous amount of clutter, requiring extensive maintenance and hours spend in problem identification, causing frequent down times. Clearly, network transformation is critical to this new, software-driven landscape.

Network Technology is Now Racing to Catch Up
For businesses to maximize resources and boost productivity, networks must be re-engineered with a focus on efficiency. That’s where SDN or Software Defined Networking plays a major role.

Software-defined technology allows networks to be hardware and connectivity-agnostic. Businesses can opt for a public or a private IP, adopt dedicated or shared networks, or deploy any combination of systems. SDN seamlessly integrates all these diverse infrastructures into a single platform.

What does this imply for modern, growing businesses?

More Control, Better Visibility
SDN is designed for complete visibility across network environments, whether it is limited to one location or dispersed across geographies.

Consider a single-site company with all its data hosted in a datacentre, accessed by multiple employees, customers, or vendors.
SDN allows IT teams to view and control KPIs such as app performance, connectivity speeds, and UX levels. With a single dashboard, these can be monitored on the go.

A Paradigm Shift for Multi-Site Businesses
Indian businesses are rapidly embracing digitization, adopting inventory management tools, CRM software, HRMS platforms, or payroll apps to address productivity and efficiency challenges. However, they are unable to transition effectively due to inadequate network support.

"Can technology bring together all these networks, creating a vast, yet centralised, business connectivity ecosystem?"

Requirements vary widely across industries, from warehouses in the commodities segment, office spaces for service providers, or multiple stores in retail. As a result, businesses struggle to select an optimal network solution, in alignment with their individual needs and parameters.

SDN allows deployment of the locally available network solution, regardless of the provider, and connects it to a pan-organisation system with integrated governance.

Discover Centralised, Appliance-Agnostic Networks
Today, the Indian connectivity landscape comprises several national providers, hundreds of local cable operators, private IP providers, as well as new and emerging players. Can technology bring together all these networks, creating a vast, yet centralised, business connectivity ecosystem?

SD-Wide Area Network or SD-WAN (a component of SDN) could address these challenges. It enables geo-specific policies and localised firewalls, combined with centralised network governance. That’s why leading network service provider like Spectra is now rolling out SDN capabilities. As a managed service provider, we take ownership of core functionalities, regardless of the network currently in use. Companies can choose if they want to manage networks in-house or adopt a shared network management model.

Minimal-Efforts and Assured Uptimes with Managed Network Services
The emergence of SDN has two significant impacts for service providers. First, we can reproductize our offerings and deliver comprehensive solutions, spanning connectivity as well as LAN-side requirements. Second, beyond our immediate network reach, we enable businesses in any location on any active network, to adopt our Managed Network Services.

For instance, our customer Columbus Trading was able to achieve 40% savings in bandwidth cost and a 20% jump in productivity levels, by deploying SD-WAN across its Dubai, Singapore, and India offices.

The Future is Smart, Cost-Efficient, and Software-Defined
Traditional network or private VPN solutions are expensive and are unable to support high bandwidth demand. With SD-WAN, businesses could opt for even a 100 Mbps connection, combining security with high speeds. Over 3 to 4 years after implementation, operational savings could reach up to 50 percent.

Today, SDN is positioned as a game changer, significantly transforming network upgrades at minimal investments. The future is poised to be envisioned around this consolidated platform, ensuring uninterrupted business continuity and enhanced productivity at every location.