The phrase software-defined networking (SDN) was coined when it was necessary to distinguish the concept from the hardware-based variety. Since that time, "SDN" has come to mean the type of dynamic configuration that takes place whenever software-based services in a data center network are made accessible through an Internet Protocol (IP) address. More to the point, SDN is networking now. In the broadest sense, any software that manages a network of dynamically assigned addresses -- addresses which represent services provided or functions performed -- is utilizing some variety of SDN. The web gave rise to the idea of addressing a function by way of a name that resolves (represents, as in a directory) to an IP address. Originally, the web was intended to be a system for addressing content in this way, but engineers soon saw how efficient an evolved form of that system could be in addressing functionality.
The 2008 publication of "OpenFlow: Enabling Innovation in Campus Networks" introduced the idea that networks (originally campus and enterprise networks) can be treated more like flexible software rather than inflexible infrastructure, allowing new network services and bug fixes to be rapidly and safely deployed.7 Since then many have shared their experiences using software-defined networking (SDN) and OpenFlow in wide area and data center networks, including at Google.10 The Faucet controller provides a "drop-in" replacement for one of the most basic network elements--a switch--and was created to easily bring the benefits of SDN to today's typical enterprise network.5 SDN enables such safe and rapid development and deployment of network features through automated testing of both hardware and software, without time-consuming manual lab testing. As described here, a complete control-plane upgrade can be done, while the network is running, in a fraction of a second. Security of networks is a concern for all network operators and users.
The rising tides of big data, video, and cloud computing are driving tremendous demand for faster and more efficient networks. We delve into how things like software-defined networks (SDN) and new wireless technologies are enabling business transformation. Open source is transforming networking. Ever since OpenFlow appeared in 2011 and showed that we could use software to improve networking, open-source software, and not hardware, has blazed the future of networking. There was only one problem.
The rising tides of big data, video, and cloud computing are driving tremendous demand for faster and more efficient networks. We delve into how things like software-defined networks (SDN) and new wireless technologies are enabling business transformation. The Linux Foundation is far more than just Linux. Now, networking power Juniper Networks has announced that OpenContrail, its open-source network virtualization cloud platform, will join the others as part of The Linux Foundation. Juniper bought Contrail, an SDN company, in 2012.