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Microsoft Says 'SDN Goes Mainstream' in Windows Server 2019

In highlighting the top 10 networking features of the upcoming Windows Server 2019, Microsoft claimed software-defined networking (SDN) has gone mainstream.

The emerging open-standards-based and vendor-neutral virtualization architecture has disrupted the staid, proprietary networking industry with its software-centric approach that seeks to provide benefits such as programmability, central management and agility.

As it has grown from its early roots in academic exercises to proof-of-concept testing labs to adoption by Web-scale giants, carriers, service providers and telecom operators, it has increasingly infiltrated the enterprise, and Microsoft is furthering that migration in its flagship server OS.

"If you've ever deployed Software Defined Networking (SDN), you know it provides great power but is historically difficult to deploy," Microsoft said in an Aug. 8 blog post that pegged SDN as No. 7 on its list of top 10 networking features in the server OS. "Now, with Windows Server 2019, it's easy to deploy and manage through a new deployment UI and Windows Admin Center extension that will enable anyone to harness the power of SDN."

The company said SDN is a key component of its encompassing Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) offerings.

Those include the Hyper-V hypervisor that provides the virtualization platform supporting networking and storage, security technologies and more. Microsoft's SDDC initiative -- itself aligned with the Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) program -- provides "software-based network functions such as virtual networking with switching, routing, firewalling with micro-segmentation, third-party appliances, and load balancing, all virtualized and highly optimized for availability and performance."

Furthermore, while SDN benefits touted by Microsoft are baked in to Windows Server 2019, the company also said SDN improvements are more immediately available in Windows Server 2016.

The Windows Networking post describes how that is possible by detailing the steps enterprises need to take to set up their physical networks to support its SDN technologies, which can be deployed with SDN Express and then managed via Windows Admin Center.

"You can get SDN Express today from the Microsoft SDN repository on GitHub," the post said. "Just download the SDN repository, navigate to SDNExpress/scripts and run the SDNExpress.ps1 file from a Windows Server 2016 or 2019 computer. It will guide you the rest of the way."

More information is available in this article published by our sister site, RedmondMag.com.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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