Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a new open standards and vendor-neutral approach to computer networking that allows network operations personnel to manage network services through the abstraction of lower level functionality. It separates control and forwarding functions, centralizes management, and programs network behavior using well-defined interfaces.
SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are two emerging technologies that are accelerating the transformation of service provider network services. With SDN and NFV, service providers can provide differentiated, revenue-generating service offerings to their end customers while reducing operational costs and simplifying network management. A critical component of this next-generation network is Service Orchestration.
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is one of the key groups working to define the scope and interworking of SDN, including the OpenFlow communications protocol, which gives access to the forwarding plane of a network switch or router from a centralized controller.
Benefits of SDN
SDN has a number of key benefits.
First, it is directly programmable, as it decouples control from the forwarding plane. This enables operations to be dynamically controlled, giving network operators an unprecedented level of network service agility.
SDN is also centrally managed by SDN Controllers and programmatically configured by network managers using well-defined interfaces.
To learn more about how SDN plays a key roll in helping a service provider achieve their goals of providing differentiated and quality-assured service to their customer, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.