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What is Digital Networking?

Last Updated : 27 Oct, 2021
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Digital Network refers to the social network built through the use of digital technologies. It supports digital switching and digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services. It has marketplaces, data networks, and communications networks that provide a platform that align the network to business needs.

Networking devices like switches, routers and access points form the core of digital networks. These devices connect and secure devices like computers, servers, and others to organizational networks and are used to connect networks to other networks and analyze data to be sent across a network.

Digital Network

Features of Digital Networking :

  1. Centralized Management –
    Digital network enables end-to-end network services for on-premise and cloud space through cloud-enabled central management. Central server monitor, analyze, and manage all the components of the network.
  2. Automation –
    Digital network automates the management and sharing of network infrastructure across the network. Also, it provides an automated environment in which intelligent machines can communicate with each other.
  3. Security –
    Digital networks can identify threats even in encrypted data traffic by gathering data about the traffic flow and identifying any security breach through it.
  4. Virtualization –
    Digital networks logically groups physical networks together and make them operate as single or multiple independent networks called Virtual Networks. It allows shared access to all the resources of the network to each logical network.

Evolving Digital Networks :

  1. Software-defined Network (SDN)
    Centrally controlled software-based mechanism routes the data traffic which results in high agility. The decision of forwarding the data is based on the entries of the flow table which is assigned by the central controller.
  2. Intent-based Network –
    It automates operations, provides high security, analyzes the performance of the network, and integrates the network with various business processes. It generates a configuration for devices based on the service description and provides assurance checks between the intended and operational state of the network, using closed-loop validation to continuously verify the correctness of the configuration.
  3. Virtualized Network –
    It logically divides the physical network infrastructure into different logical units such that each of the logical networks can be adjusted to meet specific security, quality-of-service (QoS), and other requirements. Each logical unit is independent of the other and has shared access to all the resources on the network.
  4. Controller-based Network –
    Controllers controls networking functions of individual devices by translating business intent to device configurations, and monitor devices constantly to improve the performance and security of the network. The degree of control and the type of control varies widely across the networks.
  5. Multi-domain Integration Network –
    Network is divided into different domains with each domain having multiple agents and a domain manager. Agents communicate with domain managers by exchanging relevant operating parameters and domain managers further communicate to parent or domain managers at a higher level of hierarchy.

Advantages of Digital Networking :

  1. Scalable –
    Digital networks are easier to expand or scale at a larger level to meet the changing requirements of the organization.
  2. Cost-efficient –
    Digital networks are more affordable for organizations with large traffic flow and having different sections of users with different needs.
  3. Secure –
    Digital networks are more secure than traditional networks that might not detect security breaches in case of encrypted data traffic.
  4. Agile –
    Digital networks show high agility to respond to required changes within the network.
  5. Network Analysis –
    It constantly analyzes network performance by collecting information about the network.

Disadvantages of Digital Networking :

  1. Central dependency –
    Failure in the central system or controller leads to the failure of the entire network.
  2. Complex design –
    It has a complex design as it is a combination of different operating systems, environments, and network components.

Importance of Digital Networking :
In the era of digital transformation, the network needs to be highly agile to incorporate changes in real-time across the network in order to keep up with the business demands. Digital Networks achieves this by central management where changes made can be propagated across the entire network instantly. Also, network security is one of the most important features of digital transformation and digital networks provide excellent security by gathering information about the traffic and indicating a security breach.

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