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Microsoft Touts SDN in Windows Server 2019

As if to back up its contention that software-defined networking has gone "mainstream," Microsoft is continuing to tout the SDN capabilities in its upcoming Windows Server 2019 OS.

The company has been all over the game-changing networking technology in a series of blog posts detailing "The Top 10 Networking Features in Windows Server 2019," with one post for each feature.

Last month, its No. 7 feature post proclaimed "SDN Goes Mainstream."

If so, it's been about an eight-year onramp. A Wikipedia post claims actual deployments of the disruptive technology -- beyond academic projects -- started around 2010.

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, SDN 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's post said. "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."

Since then, the company has continued to feature SDN front and center in its Windows Server 2019 series, with follow-up posts titled "High Performance SDN Gateways" and, just last week, "Security with SDN."

"Windows Server 2019 SDN delivers many features to increase customer confidence in running workloads either on-premises or as a service provider in the cloud," last week's post said. "These security enhancements are integrated into the comprehensive SDN platform that our customers have already been using since Windows Server 2016."

Security features detailed by Microsoft include encrypted subnets, firewall logging, fabric ACLs, virtual network peering, IPv6 support and more.

Earlier, in the gateways post, the company highlighted SDN capabilities including IPsec tunnels (secure connectivity over the Internet between hybrid workloads) and GRE tunnels (connectivity between your workloads hosted in SDN virtual networks and physical resources in the datacenter/high speed MPLS networks).

Of course, Microsoft isn't alone in its effort to embrace the SDN movement. SDN also figured prominently in the recent VMworld conference, especially in VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's keynote address, in which he said of the company's SDN offering, NSX: "We have over 7,500 customers running on NSX, and maybe the stat that I'm most proud of is 82 percent of the Fortune 100 has now adopted NSX. You have made NSX the standard for software-defined networking."

With major networking players like Microsoft and VMware fully onboard, there's no doubt SDN is indeed going mainstream. A new research report indicates the SDN market accounted for $10.88 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to $134.51 billion by 2022.

A Verizon survey from May upholds that optimism:

"The survey highlights that SDN deployment is now firmly underway," Verizon said. "In fact, 15 percent of companies surveyed are already piloting or deploying SDN technologies, and this is set to rise to 57 percent within two years, with 12 percent expecting to have deployed SDN throughout their entire organization in that time frame. However, 31 percent see their SDN deployments happening at a slower pace, spread over the next three to five years. This indicates that those companies that are yet to consider SDN risk being left trailing in the race for business agility before they even get started."

More information on Microsoft's SDN highlights can be found at our sister site, RedmondMag.com: "Microsoft Highlights Security SDN Capabilities in Windows Server 2019" and "Microsoft Sees 'Software-Defined Datacenters' Coming with Windows Server 2019."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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