Understanding the Complex Relationship between Cisco and SDN

Software-defined networking is one of the most talked about technologies of 2010. Gartner, an IT research firm, says that SDN reached its peak popularity in 2013. However, it has fallen off the radar. However, enterprise-grade solutions are being developed and may make SDN a permanent fixture of business wide area networks.
“The ultimate direction for SDN is heavily dependent on one vendor: Cisco.”
Cisco is the key to SDN’s future direction. Although Cisco was not at the forefront of OpenFlow’s early SDN projects, its products like Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), are important alternatives to SDN that IT professionals will need to be familiar with in the years ahead.
SDN versus ACI
SDN is the separation of control and forwarding planes in a network. This allows a central CPU to make decisions about traffic direction without having to rely upon old-fashioned firmware across the network. Cisco was once considered the vendor with the most to lose if SDN took off due to its market dominance.
Software-defined networking is becoming increasingly popular. However, ACI’s rollout has kept it ahead. ACI is a proprietary spin of SDN. Gartner’sMagic Quadrant Data Center Networkingreport 2017 rated Cisco as one the two “Leaders” within the space. Arista Networks was also ranked in this report. ACI is a key player in modernizing data centers through features such as policy-based orchestration and service chaining.
Cisco certifications will prepare you for SDN
Cisco offers many certifications that will help you understand the intricacies of setting up, maintaining, and troubleshooting a Cisco Network. These credentials include the CCNA, CCCENT, and CCNP credentials. They are useful for both beginners and experts. For more information, visit our Cisco certifications page.