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Microsoft expanded the software-defined networking capabilities in its latest Windows Server release to adapt to data center demands.
More organizations require more nimbleness from IT and increased security from the networking component to prevent breaches and disruptions. SDN is one way to answer these needs by performing traditional management methods using software and a centralized management interface.
Microsoft bolstered Windows Server 2019 with four key SDN features to expand networking functionality from previous Windows Server versions. These new SDN features -- encrypted networks, firewall auditing, virtual network peering and egress metering -- attempt to address network security challenges and ease the administrator's overall workload.
SDN in Windows Server 2019 gets security improvements
Two new SDN features that focus on security come via encrypted networks and firewall auditing in Windows Server 2019.
Encrypted networks scramble traffic on virtual networks between VMs on the same encryption-enabled subnet. This SDN feature uses Datagram Transport Layer Security to encode the packets, which stops malicious actors from causing harm or stealing data even if they manage to get on the physical network.
Firewall auditing in Windows Server 2019 gives administrators a handy logging feature that can help with troubleshooting and compliance assurance. Windows Server 2019 keeps a record of traffic managed by the SDN firewall, which administrators and compliance officers can analyze and evaluate for certain events, such as possible intrusions.
New SDN features simplify management
The virtual network peering feature in Windows Server 2019 joins multiple virtual networks to make them operate as a single virtual network. Both networks get the benefit of communicating with each other's resources without gateways or increasing latency. In addition to this flexibility, administrators avoid any downtime during the connection process.
Egress metering tracks virtual device status and usage. This Microsoft SDN feature measures outbound data transfers and keeps track of packets sent outside the IP range of the virtual network.
Egress metering helps administrators follow how much traffic leaves the network, where the traffic goes, and which individual or business unit is responsible for the traffic. If administrators use this SDN feature with private clouds, egress metering can monitor chargeback billing.