A high level view at SDN

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a technology that is already here and is also up and coming. Many companies are looking to adopt SDN in their network infrastructure. This is a fairly new technology and there is no standard way of implementing it.

Maintaining a network especially in a large enterprise can be very costly. Some routers can cost as much as $25,000.00 and with a refresh cycle of every 18 months. As costumers demand more from the networks, companies like ATT are finding it hard to keep up with the rising cost for maintaining their infrastructure.

So what is SDN? SDN is made up of two parts, the data plane and the SDN controller. The data plane is mostly hardware. The SDN controller on the other hand is the software; this software can be open source.

How is this different from current networks? Current networks are called distributed networks; each network device relates to other network devices through its own individual OS, a one to one relationship. This finite way of dealing with networks drain resources and time.

With SDN the network is managed from the network control plane, more precisely the control program layer. This gives a global control over the network. Administrators can program the network to be more efficient and more sophisticated without having to configure each device, and in turn reduce management and increase productivity on the network.

SDN networks can also be less expensive. With routers costing about $10,000.00, less than half the price of some enterprise routers, coupled with free open source SDN controller, companies can cut their cost by more than 50 percent. Upgrades are also going to be more software base than hardware base which will extend current refresh cycles.

So this is a general look at SDN and how it’s going to change the current networking infrastructure. This is not by any means an in look at SDN, it is also a new technology and will change over time. If I have missed anything that you feel that is important, or stated something that was incorrect please leave a comment, I am also new to this technology.


Ryan Toolsie

Constantly building on my technical knowledge and experience. Education: Bachelors in Computer Engineering Technology, Associates in Electrical/Mechanical Engineering. Ryan@HaimIT.com

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