Published By - Brian Curtis

What is Software-Defined Networking? And its Features

Software-defined networking | YourTechDiet

Software-defined networking (SDN) : Enterprises, Organizations, and service providers are being surrounded by a number of competing forces. The enormous growth in multimedia content, the impact of increasing mobile usage, the high demand of cloud computing are causing unpredictable traffic patterns.
To find problem coping with unpredictable traffic patterns, large data centers were demanded. These traffic pattern cause very high demand for particular resources. That they couldn’t meet with existing network infrastructure.

So there were 2 choices:

  1. Scale network infrastructure to meet the peaks, which was very expensive and complex.
  2. Or you can build a network in such a way that it can reconfigure automatically to cope up with those peaks and channel to meet appropriate demands.

That’s where SDN came into existence.

So, What is SDN?

SDN – Software-defined networking is a unique approach or an umbrella term for cloud computing and networking which simplifies the management of network and enables programmatically efficient configuration of network to improve performance of networks and monitoring results.

Software-defined networking is emphasized on the fact that basic architecture of traditional network is so much complex and decentralized while present network needs more flexible architecture with simple troubleshoot option.

Software-defined networking recommends centralization of network intelligence by withdrawing the forwarding process of network packets (data packets) from the routing process (control process).

Software-defined networking (SDN) Architecture

Software-defined networking architecture layers consists 3 layers.

a) an infrastructure layer
b) a control layer and
c) an application layer.

  1. The Application Layer

Application layer contains programs that explicitly and programmatically communicate their desired network behavior and network requirements to the SDN Controller.

  1. The Control Layer

The SDN Controller is the mid-layer that connects the application layer and infrastructure layer- Northbound interface is the connection between the controller and applications while southbound interface is the connection between the controller and infrastructure layer. This layer processes the instructions and requirements sent by the application layer (via southbound interface) and proceeds them to the networking components (via northbound interface). It also communicates back necessary information extracted from the networking devices to the application for it function optimally.

  1. The Infrastructure Layer

This consists of networking devices that control the forwarding and data processing capabilities for the network. The devices are responsible for handling packets based on the rules provided by a controller. It is the physical layer responsible for collecting the network statuses such as traffic statistics, network topology, network usage, etc. and send them to the control layer.

The SDN Architecture has following features:

DIRECTLY PROGRAMMABLE

Network control can be directly programmable as it is decoupled from forwarding functions.

CENTRALLY MANAGED

In Software based SDN controllers network intelligence is (logicaaly) centralized which maintains over-all view of the network.

AGILE

Abstracting control from forwarding lets admin allows to manage network-wide traffic flow dynamically to meet changing needs.

PROGRAMMATICALLY CONFIGURED

In SDN, network managers can manage, configure, secure, and optimize resources of network easily and quickly.

VENDOR-NEUTRAL

SDN Implementation instructions are provided by SDN controllers instead of vendors and protocols. So it is Vendor neutral.

Hence, Software-defined networking technology is ideal for customers who have faced rapid changes in their day to day network load. Such as Social Networking sites or social media sites and large data Centers.

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