Software Defined Networking (SDN) in the recent years has been described as the next big thing in the networking industry. Given all the hype, where are we now?
Researchers at Stanford university were credited the idea of bringing the tenets of virtualization Networking and thus creating the software defined network market. Traditional networking use integrated hardware and software to direct traffic across a series of routers and switches. The original use case for SDN was to virtualize the network by separating the control plane that manages the network from the data plane where traffic flows. There is a smart control running specialized software that manages all network traffic in the datacenter and a series of routers and switches that forwards packets of traffic.
Virtualizing a network comes with advantages some of which are; networks can be spanned up and down dynamically, can be fine-tuned for specific application use cases and security policies for the installed on each individual network.
Today, the SDN market has evolved and it is breaking out of the datacenter. SDN is being used in the in the wide area network to control how enterprise connect their branch offices. This use-case called SDWAN uses software to aggregate multiple types of network connections such as broadband, MPLS or wireless to create strong and cost effective connections.
Micro-segmentation is the idea of using SDN for security. Certain networks can be ultra-secure and carry sensitive data while other networks can be public facing. If a hacker gets into a public facing web server, they are restricted to the server segment of the network, limiting the hacker’s ability to access any other segment such as secured datacenter networks.
SDN is also used in Network Function Virtualization (NFV), replacing specialized hardware like firewalls and load balancers with software running on off the shelf server hardware.
Some vendors now use SDN to connect data centers to public cloud providers creating a hybrid cloud network that includes micro-segmentation or dynamic scaling abilities. Other SDNs could be used to help manage delude of traffic from the Internet of Thing (IoT) segmenting network traffic and helping to organize the data.
SDN has evolved from a specific use case to being applied to many different areas of networking, both within the data center unto the cloud and in the new world of IoT. As softwares are used to control the network, it becomes more agile, easy to manage and ready to adapt to whatever use case that emerge in the future.
- Written by Chinedu Onwurah
- On March 14, 2018
- 0 Comments