apops - Fotolia

Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

How can UC use SDN for IP-based communications?

While software-defined networking is still in its early stages, there are some SDN use cases for UC that can make managing applications and services on the network easier.

Unified communications (UC), and any IP-based voice communication, uses a session that sets up and disconnects calls via a higher level IP layer. Software-defined networking (SDN) removes the physical port-to-network requirement and allows virtual mapping of network resources through software.

In effect, these two systems work quite similarly with the exception of the length of the connection and the IP layer that supplies the connection. In order for UC to fully use SDN for IP-based communication, some network integration will need to occur beyond just selecting the network that a device will communicate over.  

SDN APIs allow developers to more tightly integrate various UC applications and services over the network. I don't know of any solution that is "ready for prime time" without some level of programming. That said, laptops and other end-user devices that use UC apps and services may reside on a software-defined network now, they just aren't integrated to the point where the soft device can automatically sense the right network to reside on.  

We are very early in the game in determining all SDN use cases and how UC can fully use SDN. Some vendors are significantly further down the SDN path than others. There are still problems with integration, standardization and, in general, one vendor playing well with another in the space.

But I truly believe that SDN is an amazing technology that will remove much of the difficulty and skill sets required to control networks. It also shows great promise in easing the burden of data centers, including power and cooling management requirements. So, to answer the question, I would say: stay tuned!

Do you have a question for Carrie Higbie or any of our other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

Next Steps

How UC can use SDN for real-time management

Hybrid SDN can boost UC performance

SDN use cases for video and collaboration

Dig Deeper on Unified Communications Architecture and Service Models

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

What SDN use cases do you envision for UC apps and services?