Networks have become most critical part of infrastructure. The networks should be easily manageable, cost effective and reliable. Till now, all the network devices are designed to support Internet protocol suite such as (TCP/IP). These protocols are routed protocols and does not have dynamic behavior, so network admin does not have any complexity in managing them.
When it comes to routing protocols, most of them or proprietary and it is controlled by Device hardware and software running on the device itself (Like IOS), network administrators must rely on device vendor to build or troubleshoot network issues.
Software Defined Networks:
Software defined Networking(SDN) is a methodology or technology which helps network administrator to effectively manage their network with existing resources.
This Architecture allows administrator to separate the Control Plane and Data plane, Control plane which actually does the routing, switching etc can be deployed in a server and allow them to access network devices in which data plane is implemented.
So in short, SDN separate the network control(Learning, routing and forwarding packets) from Network topology (Routers, switches, Hubs etc).
The traditional routing and switching device uses flow table to effectively forward the packets across network. SDN also uses the same flow table mechanism to forward the packets across the network and in addition to this it helps to understand the network topology and figure out the best path to deliver packets.
Following are the Advantages in converting the existing network to Software Defined Network:
- Much Easier to implement and optimize switching and routing policies on the network
- Reduces the cost spend on Hardware and software required for networking
- Easily manageable
- Easily Customizable
- High Performance
OpenFlow is open source protocol which uses SDN Approach. OpenFlow is defined by Open Networking Foundation, we will see very brief about OpenFlow in our next blog.
A number of network switch and router vendors have shown interest to support OpenFlow, including Brocade Communications, Arista Networks, Cisco, Force10, Extreme Networks, IBM, Juniper Networks, Larch Networks, Hewlett-Packard and NEC.
Below is the diagrammatic representation of OpenFlow.
The original article/video can be found at Software Defined Networking(SDN)