Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a very complex technology designed to give IT companies a competitive edge in network deployment and maintenance. SDN allows IT groups to adopt a self-service approach by designing and deploying their own software instead of relying on pre-installed or standard software from a vendor. It provides a mechanism for managing networks by automating the deployment process. Software defined networking can be used for desktop networks as well as for wide area networks (WAN).
Software defined networking is fast becoming the industry standard in enterprise IT. It provides a flexible and scalable network for business applications to run efficiently and reliably. SDN also provides IT administrators with greater control and flexibility over their network environment. SDN is a set of software tools and features that support the concept of flexible network connectivity. In short, it is networking which is defined by a router or a network adapter and it supports flexible networking.
According to Coherent Market Insights, Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the emerging technologies and is being integrated with software defined networking (SDN). The IoT aims to connect objects over the internet, while SDN provides orchestration for network management by decoupling the control plane and data plane. SDN can help expand IoT-enabled devices and enhance efficiency network sources. Key players in the market can capitalize on these opportunities by providing novel products and gain a competitive edge in the market.
With software defined networking, network elements are defined at the IP layer and forwarded to the appropriate destination. The idea is to avoid packet loss due to common network elements’ overlap. The result is elimination of costly overheads such as traffic bursts, circuit breaks, and routing delays caused by path-loss. Through intelligent traffic control and management, network traffic can be maximized while end-users get high-quality services and uninterrupted network speed.
Traditional network infrastructure consists of a router along with the associated software, the Ethernet cards, and the switches. The hardware also consists of several servers for processing large amounts of data. The idea behind software defined networking is to replace traditional networking architecture with a virtual machine. A user follows a simple command-line script to launch the virtual machine which then executes a series of steps to configure and install desired software on the client computer. Through this technique, network infrastructure can be easily customized, deployed, and maintained.
This performance boost is achieved by defining the necessary requirements for network devices through a set of defined specifications which are usually specified in IP packets. Once these packets are received at the receiver, the device processes them and delivers them as needed. The software defined networking technique is highly effective since it allows quick assessment of network performance and it also has the potential to greatly improve the overall quality and quantity of network traffic.
Aside from reducing the total cost of ownership for IT networks, software defined networking also has significant performance improvements. The increased level of efficiency provided by such a technology ensures that there is greater control and better reliability of the network infrastructure. The increased reliability results from a well-designed and properly implemented software system that can quickly detect and respond to sudden network failure, malicious attacks, and DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. This in turn leads to increased uptime, less downtime, and ultimately, better business productivity.
Software defined networking technology has the potential to greatly improve the operational experience of a company since it can eliminate the complexities of designing and deploying any networking application layer. A controller or administrator is no longer necessary to centrally manage and configure network infrastructure. Instead, a single IP address and port assignment is used for managing and running the entire system. All processes are transparent and are executed in a generic environment.
Software defined networking technology makes deployment and management of IP-based applications much easier. Applications can be deployed directly to the IP layer without being mixed with traditional Java servlets, XML web services, or HTML applications. Also, a single IP address and port assignment can support multiple service orientations. In this case, a single IP server can support three different service functions (for instance, centralized monitoring, remote management, or centralized distribution) while maintaining backward compatibility with legacy systems. It eliminates the need for costly switches, and this makes the cost savings significant. Also, it allows for more efficient use of bandwidth, thus, providing users with faster internet and other applications. More importantly, it gives IT departments’ greater control and flexibility over network operations. Let’s explore some of the key advantages of using this technology:
Using software defined networking reduces the requirement for managing multiple network resources such as routers, Ethernet switches, and IP phones as they are all unified. This allows administrators to properly allocate resources to meet the needs of a network configuration. This consolidation also results in overall cost savings since it enables network devices to operate at higher capacity. Virtual servers and workstations are used in this model, which significantly simplifies network configurations. It also reduces the complexity of management and support operations. This is due to the fact that it uses a single control server that acts as the hub for management purposes. Server virtualization greatly reduces the amount of hardware and software needed for managing networking. It also lowers the maintenance costs of IT infrastructure.
Software defined networking is flexible and can be integrated with other network technologies to extend the reach of a company’s offerings. Scalability refers to the ability of a system to grow as required. This is especially beneficial for small companies that have limited network architectures. In other words, it is a method of managing the growth of a business without having to completely redesign the infrastructure. This scalability is achieved through the use of forwarding, which makes it easier to add more traffic between internal switches. Virtual private networks have considerably reduced the cost of IT infrastructure. These networks do not need to contain any hardware or software. Instead, they are made up of domain names, or virtual hosting platforms that are managed by management services. This feature further lowers the costs of hosting services for large companies while still allowing them to have access to cutting-edge technology.
A number of control plane technologies are available for use with the software defined networking. Some of these include shared control planes, public key VPN, gateway control plane, and client-side TCP/IP. All of these have different levels of access. For instance, the shared control plane has both internal and external IP addresses and uses standard protocols such as HTTP and TCP/IP. Public key VPN divides an internal network from that of the outside world using a specific public key. A gateway controls which networks can connect to an external IP address.
There are many advantages in using Software Defined Networking technology. The most obvious advantage of using this technology is the cost savings that result from eliminating the need for purchasing and maintaining network devices. The reduced cost of hardware is primarily attributed to the elimination of a number of middlemen involved in the initial deployment of the network infrastructure, including the hardware provider, the administrator, and the technician. Also, there is no need for any further upgrades as the technology only requires changes to the IP address, the port assignment, and the protocols used on the client machines. Lastly, the technology enables easy administration of the devices as it controls them centrally from a single location.