A considerable number of people have never heard of Software-Defined Networks (SDN). That is why we are going to analyze this technology thoroughly via this article.
To begin with, computer networks play a crucial role in today’s societies. All these services that are provided by the internet such as social media, search engines, e-commerce services etc. are hosted by what we call data centers. In data centers thousands of computers are connected to big networks of data. The data networks are connected to each other through Wide Area Networks which cover the entire planet. The final users by using their mobile phones, personal computers, or other devices demand access to the provided services. Computer networks consist of devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, and servers.
What is the exact definition of network management? When we talk about network management, we mean the procedure of the automatic check of any network to have the lowest possible maintenance cost and the best possible performance. On top of this, network management consists of a couple of activities, functions and tools that are used for the check of network operation and for the utilization of network. On the other side, there are some issues with network management. All these procedures that we mentioned previously are very expensive and require a lot of time. Additionally, it is very difficult to impose these policies in a dynamic environment. A need for effective network management arose and today’s network architectures cannot fulfill the main goal of network management which is the improvement of networks’ performance.
Here comes the technology of Software-Defined Networks which aims to change the current architecture of networks. By the utilization of SDN, network devices (routers, switches) are converted into simple devices for data forwarding. The control panel is transferred into a central panel which is responsible for imposing policies, checking the devices of network, supervising the entire network. The architecture of SDN can be described by a 3-layer structure: Infrastructure layer, where we can find the software, Control layer, where we can find the control panel and application layer, where we can find all attributes, services and policies of network.
One of the most significant advantages of SDN architecture is that the admins of a network can control the devices of it through programs written in a programming language (Java, Python) instead of writing hundreds of commands for each device. What is more, thanks to the transfer of network intelligence into a central place we can new applications and network services in few hours or days instead of week or months as previously. In this way, all companies and organizations can create programs which easily adapt to their needs regarding the management of their network. Another remarkable fact about SDN is that they support plenty of APIs which render the application of network functions (safety, access checking, bandwidth management etc.) possible. We should also underline that SDN are used in many disciplines such as cloud, campus, and data centers.
All in all, we can say that SDN is a completely new technology and not well-known yet. As we mentioned in this article SDN have a lot of applications in many fields and everyone can be benefited from them. There is no doubt that this unprecedented technology is here to stay and to change our daily lives to a significant extend.