This article is a proof of concept showcasing the future of networking and unified communications, courtesy of HP Networking and Lync.

Authors: Pascal Menezes, Microsoft senior Program Manager | Jamie Stark, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager

Editor: Susan S. Bradley

Publication date: April 16, 2013

Product version: Lync Server 2010, Lync Server 2013

This week at the Open Networking Summit 2013 in Santa Clara, CA, our partner HP Networking is keynoting and demonstrating some exciting work with Lync in the space of Software Defined Networking.

For the uninitiated, Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an approach to networks that separates the control and data, which allows for the programmatic configuration of a network. We’re super excited about the potential for open network capability generally in the industry, but the implications for cloud and the way customers think about network services could be truly transformative.

While much of the interest in SDNs today are around software controllers using the OpenFlow protocol to manage network elements and virtualization within data centers, the Lync team has been thinking about SDNs from a UC perspective. Essentially, can information from Lync regarding real-time media flows influence the configuration, operations and management of the network.

Much of the work Lync has focused on to date is targeted on more reactive scenarios, such as automated network diagnostics. Cases, such as understanding how configuration drift or multiple overlaid policies will impact the quality of a video call, are designed to help network administrators work with their Lync counterparts to ensure great media quality.

This week at the Open Networking Summit, HP Networking is showing a demo about how this technology can go even further and be more proactive. Using Lync SDN API Proof of Concept, Lync is directly informing SDN controllers on media session information and statistics of the call quality required to properly deliver multi-media traffic. This interaction between application and controller dramatically impacts the automation of Quality of Service (QoS), Traffic Engineering, and securing network elements from attacks.

You’ll hear a lot more from us on this topic in the future. For now, if you’re in Santa Clara for the Open Networking Summit, come to the HP Networking booth and check out what they’re showing with Lync. Remember, this is a proof-of-concept–this isn’t released as a Lync feature yet. This is your opportunity to get an exciting sneak peek of the role this technology can play in the future of Networking and Unified Communications.

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Keywords: Networking, Software Defined Networking, SDN