Location is probably one of the most limiting factors to collaboration. Perhaps in the turn of the 21st century, the small business office was a very sacred place, but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Requiring everyone to be in the same room to collaborate within the same network is a thing of the past with new software-defined network (SDN) solutions popping up.
Let’s explain software-defined networking: An SDN is an abstract network built for remote access. Although it may be similar to the virtual private network (VPN), it works a bit differently. An SDN not only lets you keep access confined to a few users, but it also lets you host a number of applications that others can use (such as Microsoft Exchange). Also, SDNs do not use hardware to route packets. Instead, they use software within a server on the cloud or on-premise (hence the term “software-defined”). So, you can basically harness all of the power of network switches without actually having to touch a switch. Anyone with Internet access can get into your network as long as they are authorized to do so.
Right now, almost every SDN platform takes the form of an in-house module running on a corporate server. That’s not exactly ideal for smaller organizations. A company called Pertino did us the courtesy, however, of moving all of this stuff into the cloud so that you don’t need to purchase the equipment.
The end result is an elegant platform that puts you in the command center of your own little worldwide network. Using this type of beast, you suddenly are endowed with the power to create, destroy, modify, and configure nodes of your network, connecting employees around all corners of the earth with your office. They’ll have all the access to software you run just like they would if they were connected within the office.
With your own SDN platform, you’d be able to hire an employee in Mumbai without having to make him/her miss out on all the other internal software you run. Small businesses can now embrace a power that multi-national corporations have enjoyed for years.