What Is Software Defined Networking (SDN)?

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a relatively new approach to managing, building, and designing networks. SDN makes it much easier to optimize the various pieces of your network by separating the forwarding planes from the control. In SDN a controller acts as the brain of your network, allowing you to make changes to how your network will handle traffic.

Today, SDN uses APIs, or application programmatic interfaces, to provide support for the various applications and services that you may have running on your network. These help to make your network services more efficient and allow you as an administrator to add or remove services to address your changing needs without having to adjust each router or switch in your forwarding plane.

OpenFlow is not SDN

It’s important to note that while OpenFlow is part of the SDN architecture, they are not the same thing. OpenFlow is a type of communication standard that allows the forwarding plane and controller to interact with each other. There are other communication protocols available for use with SDN (ONOS is one).

What are the Benefits of Using SDN?

There are a number of benefits to using SDN. For example, SN can help reduce your networking costs by supporting tiered hardware models that allow you to pay more as you grow. In this way, you never have to worry about paying too much money for the network traffic you are currently experiencing.

Another excellent benefit of SDN is that your network will be easier to manage, design, scale, and deploy. This is because SDN enables control of your network through the use of algorithms and network elements that are highly programmable. With this type of network architecture, you’ll be able to automate the orchestration and provisioning of your network’s resources, which can help eliminate human error and optimize reliability.

Finally, SDN allows you to innovate with new services and applications that can be more flexible than what is currently available to your business. This greatly increases the value of your network by allowing you to quickly shift business models to tap into new revenue streams that you may not have explored before.

SDN Conclusion

SDN (software defined-network) is a relatively new resource that is still evolving. Once SDN focused mostly on larger data centers and virtualization, but that isn’t the case any longer. Today, SDN has become a very useful tool for service providers and a number of other enterprises. Whether you run an IT organization or another service, SDN is worth looking into. New products, services, and protocols are constantly being developed for SDN, making it more and more accessible and useful for a variety of networking applications. Additionally, though the technology is relatively new, it has been around long enough for the worst hiccups to be worked out. This is a technology that is truly coming of age, and the time to jump on board is now. Since it first gained popularity in 2012, SDN has been greatly improved and today can offer many benefits for your business.