Skip to main content

Home Software-defined networking

Software-defined networking

(also SDN)

Software-defined networking definition

Software-defined networking (SDN) is a network management and design approach separating a network's control and data planes. SND architecture allows centralized network control, greater flexibility and programmability, and better traffic prioritization. SDN can be implemented using various protocols (e.g., OpenFlow, NETCONF, and YANG).

How software-defined networking works

  • In traditional networks, switches, and routers make forwarding decisions based on preset rules and configurations. With software-defined networking, the control plane is separated from the data plane and moved to a centralized controller.
  • The controller manages the network and makes forwarding decisions based on policies and rules that can be dynamically programmed and updated.
  • When traffic enters the network, the data plane devices forward it to the controller. The controller decides how to handle the traffic based on the programmed policies and rules.
  • Network services can be deployed dynamically based on the needs of the network. For example, if additional bandwidth is required, the controller can allocate additional resources to meet the demand.

Software-defined networking benefits

  • Simplified network management. The network is managed centrally with SDN, simplifying its management and configuration.
  • Greater network flexibility and programmability. SDN allows admins to define policies and rules that can be updated and programmed dynamically, providing more flexibility.
  • Cost-effectiveness. SDN can reduce costs by simplifying the deployment and management of network services.
  • Better network performance. SDN can improve network performance by allowing administrators to prioritize traffic and allocate resources effectively.