Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Amitabh Sinha

Related Topics: SDN Journal, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

SDN Journal: Article

Question Answered. SDN Is Secure | @CloudExpo @Ciena #SDN #IoT #M2M #API

SDN provides a centralized intelligence and control model that is well-suited to provide flexibility to network security

The Question Has Been Answered. SDN Is Secure

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is one of the most interesting developments in networking to emerge in the last decade. The potential to establish a simplified infrastructure and leverage software to dynamically modify existing flow characteristics has the potential to address many concerns around hardware costs, faster service provisioning, and greater configuration control across diverse networks. However, concern for or lack of information about security is a key inhibitor to SDN adoption in today's rapidly-evolving data centers and connected wide area network environments.

With good reason: there is news of another global data breach almost daily. More than 1,500 data breaches led to 1billion data records compromised in 2014 alone, a 49% increase in data breaches and a 78% increase in data records stolen or lost compared to 2013. While it's easy to focus on all of the security vulnerabilities (actual and perceived) in an open system, there a number of security benefits that SDN can in fact help realize.

It's true that currently available security solutions are difficult to deploy, manage, program, scale, and secure. Policies are tightly coupled to physical resources as opposed to services and applications. Security solutions struggle to provide quick and automated threat mitigation across equipment from multiple vendors. Consistent security policies are difficult to administer across compute, storage, and network domains, and multiple data centers.

What SDN provides is a centralized intelligence and control model that is well-suited to provide much-needed flexibility to network security deployments with a number of complementary attributes that are useful for implementing a highly secure and manageable environment, including:

  • A flow-based paradigm that untethers policies from the physical perimeter. The perimeter security model of "keeping the bad guys out" no longer works in today's dynamic cloud and mobile computing world. Networks and servers will continue to be attacked, despite using best-in-class content inspection, tunneling, and continuous monitoring technologies. The flow paradigm is ideal for security processing because it offers an end-to-end, service-oriented connectivity model that is not bound by traditional routing constraints.
  • Highly granular policy management and enforcement, for diverse, multi-tenant environments. Granular policy management can be based on application, service, organization, and geographical criteria rather than physical configuration. This allows the operator to designate who is authorized to update control information, and by extension exclude unauthorized individuals or groups. It also allows the owner to determine the state of the platform at any time, as well as what changes were made, when, and by whom.
  • Logically centralized control allows for effective performance and threat monitoring across the entire network. In SDN architectures, network intelligence is centralized, so decision-making is facilitated based on a global (or domain) view of the network, as opposed to today's networks, which are built on an autonomous system view where nodes are unaware of the overall state of the network. This gives operators a more efficient way to detect and isolate threats.
  • Programmability which offers far more sophisticated security processing than is available today. SDN networks are inherently controlled by software functionality, which may be provided by vendors or the network operators themselves. Such programmability enables automation and adaption to mitigate risks, as well as for dynamic and flexible adjustment of security policy.

By blending historical and real-time network state and performance data, SDN facilitates intelligent decision making, achieving flexibility, operational simplicity, and improved security across a common infrastructure. And with the proper configuration and integration, you can secure an SDN environment without impact to SDN capabilities. This provides a way to address one of the most common security critiques - that security is bolted on, as opposed to built-in. With SDNs, security can be a core part of the network solution right from the beginning, making the management and implementation of proven security mechanisms easier.

More Stories By Chris Janz

Dr. Christopher Janz serves as Vice President and CTO of Ciena’s Agility business division. Ciena Agility distributes software that enables network operators to deliver and monetize consumption-based services on demand; flexibly, efficiently and at high velocity. As CTO, he is largely responsible for designing Ciena Agility’s forward path in the fast-evolving SDN and NFV technology and market landscape, and for managing Ciena Agility’s contributions to industry organizations and efforts defining and driving those evolutions.

Chris has 20 years of industry experience in roles ranging from primary research, system architecture, and product development team management; to product line management and strategic marketing. He holds a B.Eng. in engineering physics from the Royal Military College of Canada, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Alberta and an M.B.A. from Queen's University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.