How to Confidently Transfer Business Applications to a Software Defined Network

Transferring business applications to a software defined network could be risky. One wrong move could ruin and delete all the data stored within the system. To transfer these applications successfully, personnel should follow a proper preparation and management plan.

Follow these steps for a smooth business application to SDN transfer:

A. Set the Objectives

Every company that opts to upgrade their storage systems to SDN will have different reasons and goals. Identifying what the company wants to achieve should be the first step. The success of the migration will depend on the objectives of the deployment.

B. Determine Application Connectivity

After setting the objectives, the migration of business applications will require the determining and mapping of the connectivity. This is the most crucial part of the migration as it requires personnel to know the existing flows to determine the necessary changes. For businesses that have accurate, up-to-date and machine-readable data, they can easily start the migration process by simply importing the documentation. However, for those who cannot provide the necessary information, a more challenging task awaits.

C. Transfer Business Applications Accordingly

After you have finalised steps 1 and 2, it is now time to migrate or transfer the organisation’s business applications to SDN. However, this process cannot be accomplished overnight.

The length of the migration depends on the size and the complexity of the network. In completing the migration process, it is advisable to take a step-by-step approach to fully monitor the outcome. Since it is impossible to migrate all of the applications at once, a stepwise, ongoing process is required including the following stages:

  1. Locate existing IP Addresses and assign new addresses to each server workload.
  2. Reconfigure business application software to use the new IP addresses.
  3. Write new policies to allow the business application’s assigned traffic to run properly.
  4. Organise and authenticate the policy.
  5. Test the application to confirm it is functioning properly.
  6. When it is fully functioning, move the application to production.
  7. Extract the old version of application connectivity.

D. Establish Consistent Network Management

After transferring the business applications to a software defined network, the IT department should monitor and conduct ongoing security policy management. The team will need access to perform necessary actions, audit the traffic and to detect possible risk and compliance reports. They will also need to modify new policies in accordance with the new business application.

Overall, the migration of business applications to a software defined network requires a strong and established process to guarantee success. Therefore, only trusted companies should perform these progressions.

Originally published at on January 29, 2016.