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Software Defined Networks: The next best thing since sliced bread?

May 27, 2013

John Hayduk   

Blog Contributor

In my next few blogs, I’ll be talking about Software Defined Networks – SDNs. This subject is currently a very hot topic around the networking world.

I’ll spend the next few blogs talking about what it is, where the benefits are, and how this change could affect service providers going forward. The hype around what SDNs can and will achieve right now is pretty much without limit.

The underlying principle for SDNs is to separate the conventional networks combined hardware/firmware interface that determines where to ship packets into two items.

One item is the control plane. The control plane is just what the name implies, and it is responsible for the decision as to where the traffic is sent, how much, even if a particular type of traffic should be sent. The other item is the data plane, and it is the layer that is responsible for actually forwarding the traffic based on the rules the control plane has given it.

It is this separation, that allows the network to become more nimble. And in the future, beyond just decoupling the control plane and data plane, many SDN vendors promise even more APIs into their network equipment.

Watch out next week when I will be exploring the benefits of SDNs, and ultimately their impact on service providers going forward.