Software-defined Networking (SDN) is a way to pull network intelligence away from the hardware and hand it over to software for assistance. The belief is that software can be utilized to make better decisions about network routing since hardware can't evolve quickly enough to handle the tasks of today's fast paced Cloud environments. By enlisting the help of software, the network becomes more flexible and more agile, allowing IT Pros to produce a highly virtualized and automated datacenter that can be modified at a moment's notice without severe disruption and without a lag in performance and connectivity for end-users. SDN makes the infrastructure more efficient and able to scale to meet business user demands more quickly.

Many vendors are now working to develop the underlying software technology to enable SDN. Microsoft has developed the software pieces with Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and is working with a multitude of hardware vendors to produce a turnkey system that can be implanted into the current infrastructure. From a Public Cloud perspective, it’s a crucial technology. But, using Windows Server 2012 R2 these same technologies can be brought in-house for your Private and Hybrid Cloud datacenters.

Windows Server 2012 R2 offers specific technologies for aiding SDN. These include Hyper-V Network Virtualization, Hyper-V Extensible Switch, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Multi-Tenant VPN Gateway. And, to manage it all Microsoft offers System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and the Open Management Infrastructure.

To get a better understanding about how this might work for your organization, Microsoft has put together the following video:

When you're done here, check out Microsoft's SDN solutions page: Software-defined networking solutions