From Legacy to SDN: Future-proofing your Network
Feb 22, 2024

From Legacy to SDN: Future-proofing your Network

Safely move your legacy network to SDN — and reap impressive benefits

Faced with a continuously evolving digital landscape and a mandate to support a modern, dynamic enterprise, most CIOs and their teams have either already transitioned away from their legacy network to Software Defined Networking (SDN), are mid-journey, or are seriously contemplating the move to SDN.

Wherever one is on the transition journey, the desired goal is a flexible network infrastructure that delivers centralized management alongside heightened agility, mobility, reliability, and security. And of course, cost savings.

So, yes, the word is very much out that transitioning to SDN is a significant step toward future-proofing your network infrastructure. And yet — as with any adoption of evolved technology — the details of how the transition is made greatly influence the outcome.

Unique challenges and best practices.

The transition from hardware-based to software-centric networks isn’t necessarily easy. In fact, it can be quite daunting technically: Understanding the nuances of SDN architecture might present a steep learning curve.

While the shift to SDN is clearly an evolution of enterprise technology – it should not occur in a vacuum untethered from business objectives. Critical to success is the alignment of IT goals and KPIs to desired business outcomes.

As the network becomes more dynamic and distributed, new security vulnerabilities could be introduced so security strategies should be reevaluated as part of the implementation planning.

Often a gradual shift is recommended to allow for a detailed study of suitability to deliver the most positive impact. This might mean assessing various design scenarios or starting with a pilot project or a specific network segment. An “ease in” approach allows the effectiveness of the SDN in a specific environment to be evaluated without overwhelming the transition team or risking existing operations.

It should be acknowledged that moving from legacy networking to SDN can be a laborious, manually driven undertaking that can be stressful to business and IT teams because it involves thousands of moving parts (people, processes, devices, circuits, tools.) And, it can take months – or even years -- to complete.

For all of these reasons, you definitely want an experienced partner in your corner to ensure your enterprise makes the most of the transition to SDN.

Decades of experience, kudos from stellar sources, and a proprietary platform.

At Microland we take pride in our deep experience with all aspects of network modernization deployment. In fact, we’ve executed thousands of site transitions from legacy to SDN — garnering acclaim from Gartner, ISG, and Everest Group along the way (see sidebar).

Recently, our technologists innovated a digitized platform, Intelligeni NetOps, designed to deliver 10 times more efficiency even as systems rapidly grow more complex. This platform can accelerate your journey from legacy to SDN — getting you there about 30% faster.

And while we’re proud of our ability to effectively accelerate the shift from legacy to SDN, we’re equally diligent about devising the best transformation roadmap for each individual customer. A complete transformation of LAN, WAN, and Cloud security might take months or years of effort depending upon scale, complexity, or geographic spread. Another consideration is the status of the legacy estate: What are the necessary End-of-Life/End-of-Support elements that influence the transformation? Microland technologists will develop a transformation roadmap that assesses the entire network estate holistically and then recommends either a phased approach or a “rip off the band aid move in one fell swoop” approach.

Regardless of transition cadence, Intelligeni ensures that the configurations are highly standardized throughout deployment to yield efficiencies and assure the positive impact of further automation.

Enhance through automation & analytics.

Once a stable base ecosystem is in place, you can elevate your SDN management performance by automating key workflows.

By managing changes as code, Intelligeni NetOps promotes a standardized, automated, and controlled approach to digital infrastructure management — unlocking new dimensions of resilience and scalability. Imagine having a vigilant digital guardian that constantly observes your systems’ behavior, instantly flagging any irregularities or potential issues. This proactive approach ensures that disruptions are nipped in the bud, minimizing downtime, and keeping your operations running smoothly.

Insight from analytics of real-time telemetry and user experience will drive continuous service improvement via ongoing identification of remaining manual work or problem areas within your network requiring further remediation and automation. Through rigorous management of your automation and analytics, your enterprise will achieve Google-like reliability, agility, and efficiency like none it has seen before.

The value of true partnership along the transformation journey.

We’re proud to say that with Microland, there’s no “black box”. In fact, we believe a big part of Microland’s value as a transformation partner is our commitment to effectively sharing information with key client team members and leadership so that they can take the lead in the future (if desired). To this same end, we’re flexible in how we incorporate internal expertise and work hard to adapt specific enterprise considerations into the overall process of operationalizing digital transformation. Don’t take our word for it – check out Microland’s consistent Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score of 90+ year after year.

Get in touch today

Chat with one of our team members to learn more about how Microland can help you make the leap from legacy to SDN. We will develop a customized operations transformation roadmap for your enterprise —at absolutely no cost to you and no commitment on your part.



SDN and Network Transformation Leadership


So how does SDN function? 

  • Software-Defined Networking (SDN) architecture represents a major paradigm shift in how networks are designed, deployed, and managed.
  • SDN focuses on network abstraction and programmability.
  • With SDN, the entire network can be managed from a single point, simplifying network design and operation.
  • SDN allows network administrators to program network behavior in a centrally controlled manner using software applications. This is a shift from CLI based management.
  • SDN separates the control plane (network intelligence and policy making) from the data plane (traffic forwarding), offering greater flexibility and adaptability.
  • SDN offers granular control over network traffic and allows for highly customized network configurations, tailored to specific organizational needs.
  • SDN allows network administrators to provision and scale resources and bandwidths dynamically in response to the demands of business while enjoying a reduction in costs associated with on-site resources for deployment. Such zero-touch plug & play deployment represents a significant shift from the static nature of traditional networks. Further, standardized policies and configurations facilitate rapidly scaling infrastructure and new sites.
  • SDN supports network virtualization, which allows for the creation of multiple virtual networks that operate independently over the same physical network infrastructure.
  • SDN encourages open standards and interoperability, reducing vendor lock-in and promoting innovation.
  • SDN offers a comprehensive approach to network management and customization, suitable for intricate and diverse network environments.


About the Author


Robert Wysocki, SVP - Global CSO Leader, Network & Cybersecurity, Microland 

Robert (Bob) Wysocki is the Client Solutions Leader for IT Networks and Cybersecurity. His responsibilities include driving innovation, incubating emerging technologies, and enabling customers to deploy key digital technologies for rapid business and operational transformation.

Bob is a seasoned IT evangelist with over 30 years of industry experience, gained at Fortune 20 as well as start-up organizations. During his 16 years at General Electric (GE), as an executive in Corporate Shared Services IT, he drove strong business results in numerous disciplines of procurement, product management, engineering, operations, and financial management. Bob graduated from Georgia Tech and holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida.