Interested in learning more about software-defined networking (SDN)? Swing by Channel 9 for a video module that can help you get started: Software-Defined Networking with Windows Server and System Center: Demystifying Software-Defined Networking.

In this module (the first of a four-module course), Channel 9’s Symon Perriman speaks with Rajeev Nagar, principal group program manager for the Datacenter Networking & Platform team, Operating Systems Group. Nagar discusses the basics of SDN, including how Windows Server and System Center can be used to centrally manage physical and virtual networks and how best practices from Microsoft Azure can deliver a virtualized network without boundaries.

“If you think about the fundamentals of computing…compute, storage, and networking…businesses cannot afford rigidity,” says Nagar, giving a rundown of what SDN is and Microsoft’s vision for the approach. “You see harnessing the power of software to deliver on the set of benefits that businesses require today, given scale, mobility, flexibility requirements.” Nagar illustrates the point by showing how a typical networking architecture—standard datacenter, rack and aggregation switches, and so on—can become more effective through SDN.

Nagar goes on to explain that Microsoft’s SDN solutions deliver control, orchestration, and management through System Center 2012 R2 and infrastructure capabilities through Windows Server 2012 R2. Showing how private cloud, on-premise deployments work in tandem with third-party, multitenant ISP clouds and Windows Azure services, Nagar points out that the same basic infrastructure that is used for “gargantuan” implementations of Windows Azure services runs in smaller Windows Server implementations.

The module goes on to discuss how Microsoft delivers SDN, the difference between OpenFlow and SDN, and some of the directions in which Microsoft is taking the technology. “A critical value that is going to be increasingly realized through the deployment of SDN is the interaction between applications and the network,” he explains. SDN allows the network to reconfigure itself in real time, to handle flows as needed.

To get the whole story, take a look at the video or visit the Microsoft Software-Defined Networking Solutions page.