Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Software-defined networking promises to make high-capacity networks cheaper to build being faster and more efficient. In basic terms, SDN is a new way of managing networks that virtually separate network control from the network plane. As more and more computing moves to the cloud, those network improvements will be critical to keeping everything affordable and available. Software-defined networking providers offer a wide selection of competing architectures, but at its most simple, the Software-Defined Networking method centralizes control of the network by separating the control logic to off-device computer resources. Software-defined networking has the potential to revolutionize legacy data centers by providing a flexible way to control the network so it can function more efficiently.
All software-defined networking models have some version of an SDN Controller, a southbound APIs and northbound APIs. The controllers are like the brain of the network it’s in charge of translating the requirements from the SDN Application layer down to the Data paths and providing the SDN Applications with an abstract view of the network. The Controllers offer a centralized view of the overall network and allow the network administrators to the choose underlying systems that determine how the plane should handle network traffic. Southbound APIs are used to communicate between the Controller and the switches/routers of the network. The southbound API’s control over the network and allow the SDN Controller to dynamically make changes according to real-time demands and needs. Northbound APIs communicates with the higher applications and business logic. These help network administrators to programmatically shape traffic and deploy services.
There are many benefits from software-defined networking that includes on-demand provisioning, automated load balancing, streamlined physical infrastructure and the ability to scale network resources in lockstep with application and data needs. SDNs create flexibility in how the network can be used and operated and makes it more user-friendly. You also can get rid of manual intervention which improves uptime. SDNs enable resellers to reduce configuration and deployment errors that can impact the network more efficiently. It also offers a centralized, programmable network that can be changed to fit the business needs. The hardware and operating costs are relatively low compared to other networking approaches. Not only does the IT industry benefit from SDN’s but other industries as well such as financial and insurance organizations, educational institutions, and the Government.
The difference between SDN’s and traditional networking systems is when packets
are being sent through a traditional network and a path is clogged, there is an instant disconnection that causes disruption to business which affects productivity. This happens because in traditional networking the rules are predetermined and cannot be changed on the spot. Traditional networking is hardware dominated and has a distributed control plane which causes more downtime, it is important that the downtime is kept to a minimum because it causes major difficulties and is costly. Software-defined networks are continuing to gain major attraction and are the new way to go about networking. In addition, organizations that do choose software-defined networks tend to benefit tremendously being able to innovate freely and earn more profits.
If someone is trying to transition from their traditional networking system to a software-defined network there are few things to consider for it to be successful. One should invest in the right network architecture. You should choose a network architecture that suits your needs specifically and you need a network architecture that’s easy to manage and troubleshoot and to integrate with the systems and controllers. Another thing one needs is open interfaces for integration. You should be able to build and grow your network in ways that benefit your business. You need to look for network devices that provide open interfaces and management tools that will help you grow. Flexible programmability is another thing to consider when setting up the SDN. Your network should have capabilities that allow for flexible programmability to give your network devices the ability to support new features and protocols.

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