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Virtualization and Software-Defined Networking


It should be noted that the area of network design and management develops rather rapidly. The main reason for it is the fact that organizations have to adapt quickly to the changing environment. All the alterations are based on the accumulated experience to ensure quality improvements and revisions. The purpose of this paper is to review the trends in the areas of virtualization, software-defined networking, and network security during the past three years.

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Virtualization and its Subsets

Virtualization is a trend that has already gained significant momentum, and according to experts in the industry, it will continue to grow further. This term means the abstraction of computing processes and the provision of a system that encapsulates the implementation to the user. The trend covers both virtualizations of platforms and resources. Virtualization of platforms implies full or partial emulation, address space virtualization, and virtualization of the operating system level (Dixit, Politis, & Papathanassiou, 2015). Resource virtualization involves combining and aggregating components, clustering computers, encapsulating, and partitioning. Among the listed categories, the server consolidation segment is the fastest growing area. Over the years, VMware has been the leader in the virtual server market; however, the competition is constantly increasing, and such services as Microsoft Office, SQL, and SAP are soon to be virtualized as well (Dixit et al., 2015). The main development trends in this subset are the virtualization of infrastructure and storage facilities as well as mobile virtualization.

Cloud computing is the main trend, which helps companies in hosting their servers. This is a data processing technology in which IT resources are combined for different hardware platforms, and the user can access them through the Internet. Cloud computing makes resources available in any setting (Salih & Edreis, 2016). Also, this technology assumes greater feasibility and efficiency as well as flexibility and scalability. Many organizations and enterprises have started switching to cloud computing because it is not only convenient but also saves their resources (Salih & Edreis, 2016). Therefore, the main trend within the server consolidation subset is the tendency linked to the abandonment of physical non-office servers.

Another tendency is linked to the spread of the virtualization approach to the consumer market. The core of it lies in the fact that consumers have received an opportunity to work on one computer using several operating systems (Salih & Edreis, 2016). Virtual desktops became implementable due to hypervisors of the 2nd type. Their functionality lies in the fact that the server can serve many users without the need for a complicated or sophisticated interface. In addition, the virtualization has become implementable on embedded devices.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and its Subsets

Due to the fact that network traffic and the number of devices connected to the network are constantly growing, the configuration of networks is becoming more complex. In order to make this process more simple, it is necessary to take measures to change the operation of networks and their management. SDN is an approach, which implies the reformation of the network structure, separation of management from data transmission, and automation of equipment administration (Mishra & AlShehri, 2017). With a traditional architecture, the network is represented by a set of functional blocks in the nodes of which the processing of large data packets occurs. In the SDN, standard equipment is used when building a network while the services required in each node are implemented using the software.

According to experts in the industry, within a few years, the SDN market volume will grow up to 35 billion USD, and almost 45% of expenses on transmission networks will be associated with this approach. The main trend within this area can be concluded to the fact that SDN is likely to encompass service providers, cloud-based commercial centers, and large corporate data centers (Mishra & AlShehri, 2017). The advantage of this strategy lies in the fact that organizations will be able to adapt to the changing business requirements easily. It will be achieved through a centralized environment created by a flexible network configuration and secure access to each network segment.

Apart from that, software-defined networking has the potential to become quite common to the majority of disk operating systems. The benefit of this approach is that a unified infrastructure can be reprogrammed for the current needs of the company. One of the main trends in this area is the growing penetration of BYOD (bring your own device). Image 1 evidences the growing interest in this trend, which is likely to increase over time. Therefore, it can be assumed that the technologies of container virtualization will become more popular among the general public as well (Mishra & AlShehri, 2017). This trend implies that employees will use their personal devices to work with corporate resources, which will create greater comfort in the workplace.

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The graph shows Google Trend statistics (the interest of the general population and scientific community) on the BYOD trend
Image 1. The graph shows Google Trend statistics (the interest of the general population and scientific community) on the BYOD trend (“BYOD,” n.d.).

SD-WAN is another subset in which various trends are actively developing. As a rule, this technology is used to reduce costs. In it, the work of the software-defined distributed WAN network is provided by the controller in the data center of the head office. This controller is equipped with specialized software. The main and backup Internet access channels can be connected to it directly. The controller also acts as an ultimate router, and it installs applications that ensure network security (Mishra & AlShehri, 2017). However, this trend has certain barriers to implementation due to the fact that several controllers can furnish logically inconsistent configurations to switches. Such conflicts are difficult to resolve without delays; therefore, it can be assumed that this trend will be developed further so that such incidents are eliminated.

Network Security and its Subsets

It should be stressed that information systems are rather vulnerable; therefore, they have to be protected using the particular security means. The risk of attacks is growing, and security specialists have to develop and employ advanced measures to protect company data. The main trend in network security is the changing nature of threats. The main reason for this tendency is the political setting, which has been volatile during the past several years. Such instability has directly affected network security. It has impacted both private and public organizations resulting in increased expenditures (Sperotto, Hofstede, Dainotti, Schmitt, & Rodosek, 2016). Malware mainstream has become one of the significant issues since it started to affect different systems. However, the greatest problems have been experienced by Apple and iOS in particular. Certain actions of the company have led to the infection of the system through the code. In the course of time, the iOS platform has become one of the main targets for security violations.

The trends in perimeter security subset are also linked to the increasing number of threats experienced by organizations and enterprises. This tendency has encouraged alterations in legislation. In particular, fines have been initiated to ensure better data protection. If companies do not comply with data security rules, they will be subjected to penalties. In terms of the physical security subset, the trends center on ransomware prevention and detection (Sperotto et al., 2016). Within the past three years, several severe ransomware attacks took place. For instance, ransomware Petya has affected multiple companies and organizations including banks and large-scale enterprises leading to the loss of information, data, and company resources. Considering the fact that this type of threat is more complex than regular malware, stronger approaches such as defense-in-depth strategy are required to secure the data.

Network security infrastructure consolidation also has important trends. In particular, companies tend to initiate workforce education and social engineering to ensure that security breaches caused by the performance of workers are eliminated (Sperotto et al., 2016). Employee education is one of the best ways to ensure that security is overseen by all the parties who have access to any corporate information. Since security threats have become more advanced and intricate, it is important to ensure that employees are aware of the different forms of attacks and know the ways to avoid breaches.


Thus, it can be concluded that trends in network design in management are various. They are connected to the needs of companies and organizations, which change over time and require them to adapt to the current setting. Some of the trends discussed reflect the intention of enterprises to reduce expenses by eliminating physical non-office servers and other measures, and some tendencies have emerged due to the increasing number of threats that come from the external environment. Therefore, the trends are pushed not only by the intention to eliminate redundant processes or aspects of network performance but also by the negative manifestations, which can result in security breaches and data loss.


BYOD. (n.d.). Web.

Dixit, S., Politis, C., & Papathanassiou, A. T. (2015). Network virtualization in the wireless world [from the guest editors]. IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, 10(3), 27-29.

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Mishra, S., & AlShehri, M. (2017). Software defined networking: Research issues, challenges and opportunities. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 10(29), 1-9.

Salih, B. M., & Edreis, H. A. (2016). Comparison between virtualization and cloud computing. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 5(6), 195-199.

Sperotto, A., Hofstede, R., Dainotti, A., Schmitt, C., & Rodosek, G. D. (2015). Special issue on measure, detect and mitigate-challenges and trends in network security. International Journal of Network Management, 25(5), 261-262.

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