What is SDN?
Enabling intelligent orchestration
Software-defined networking (SDN) is a new approach to network architecture, making it agile, manageable and cost-effective. It delivers the speed, adaptability and automation that communication service providers (CSPs) need to stay competitive in today's communications marketplace. SDN involves separating a network's control functions from its data forwarding functions, centralizing its intelligence, and abstracting its underlying architecture from applications and services. Fully-integrated control software gives CSPs the ability to operate and adjust SDNs from a centralized software utility, enabling intelligent orchestration.
SDN was developed by researchers and data center architects who were seeking a new way to control network devices without the need to update the software on each device every time a new protocol was created. By making their equipment programmable and configurable from a central element, these researchers gained a huge level of control over their networks and the ability to automate network behaviors quickly. With SDN, they discovered a way to take full advantage of the scale, performance, and availability of modern cloud computing and storage resources.
Fully-integrated control software gives CSPs the ability to operate and adjust SDNs from a centralized software utility.
Enhancing legacy metro networks
SDN offers a wide range of business benefits. Flexibility and time-to-market for new applications are both improved by the separation of the control and transport layers. Availability is increased through the ability to quickly respond to network issues. And operating costs are reduced through programmability and automation. What’s more, recent advances in optical transport network software are realizing additional benefits by bringing SDN technology to legacy transport infrastructure. Metro networks in particular are being enhanced by hypervisor technology, which provides an abstracted view of the physical infrastructure for automated service discovery and service activation.