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Time: November 15th, 2023

What are SDN benefits? Why it was built and how does it work? we have answered all these questions about this new network technique. 

What is Software-Defined Networking (SDN)?

It is a network architecture. This technique separates the control plane from the data plane in a network and works by using software-based controllers or application programming interfaces (APIs). This also gives the ability to connect with underlying hardware infrastructure and manage traffic on a network with proper "programming". We will explain that below along with SDN benefits. 

This technique enables IT engineers to control the network with software programs while giving them complete control regardless of the vendors of switches and routers. SDN makes it possible to use software applications with open APIs to program network behavior in a centrally controlled way. Regardless of the complexity of the underlying network technology, operators may manage the whole network and its devices uniformly by opening up historically closed network platforms and creating a standard SDN control layer.

Structure and working of SDN 

SDN is technically accomplished by dividing the data plane and the control plane. The word "plane" in networking refers to an abstract idea of the location of the networking operation. The data plane contains the actual data that travels over the network, whereas the control plane directs traffic. To finish this procedure, the control plane communicates which protocols to employ and creates network routes. 

This is unlike the traditional network structures which have a three-layer structure consisting of the business application layer, control layer, and bottom layer of devices in the network. The control layer relies on the services request from the business layer but in SDN, each layer is unlocked or "programmable" through the software interface. This happens regardless of any vendor the device is made from as under SDN, vendor locking is done in each level.

This structure enables strict control of the data plane and the control plane with the connected supporting network hardware. Centralized control plane configuration is made possible by SDN's separation of the control plane from the data plane and the hardware itself. 

With SDN, software may alter network topology instead of hardware as the control plane is isolated from the underlying hardware. Thus, enabling IT administrators to control traffic, prioritization, and option to offer additional services that were not possible in a traditional static network.

SDN benefits are mostly witnessed in enterprises where they are used to deploy apps more quickly within their networks without needing to alter hardware. And all this happens at a reduced cost of deployment while being agile. SDN is also used in White-box systems to save money and allows a cheap way for data center changes. This is why it is frequently used by companies providing cloud services. 

Advantages of SDN:

1. The increase in network traffic and overall volume of data consumption thanks to exponential growth in multimedia content on the internet, the rise of cloud computing, and personal mobile data usage have put a lot of pressure on networks and connected routing devices. In these monumental data-drivennetworks, SDN enables a controlled management of the network and all of this is done with software. 

2. Current networks and the devices connected with them operate independently and have a limited understanding of the network's status. Thanks to its centralized network topology, an SDN-based network offers extremely intelligent and optimal bandwidth management, restoration, security, and policy management.

3. Current networks are very static and designed to do one thing, while SDN-based networks are dynamic and can change the use of resources within the network. 

4. The ability for network operators to create apps that effectively use SDN APIs to unlock more possibilities with a network. 

5. The control plane gives centralized administration and control, automation, and policy enforcement across physical and virtual network environments.

6. Security of the network is a strength that utilizes machine learning, predictive insights, and network analytics to enhance security.

7. One of the SDN benefits is that it provides IT admins control to dynamically modify traffic flow throughout the network as required in different situations or schedules. and since network control is independent of forwarding operations, it may be programmed directly without changing any hardware or connecting devices.

Wrapping Up:

SDN benefits a very significant as compared to the traditional networks as with this technique, IT managers can use software programs to customize their networks and services offered by it. Because SDN software is customizable, it is designed to be compatible with any router or switch, independent of the manufacturer while being agile. 


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