Defined networks (SDN) and network virtualization are two transformative technologies that have revolutionized the way networks are designed, managed, and operated. They provide greater agility, flexibility and scalability to network infrastructures, making them essential components of modern data centers and cloud environments. Let’s dive into each technology.
SDN is an innovative approach to network management and control that separates the control plane from the data plane. Traditionally, network devices (routers, switches) performed both packet forwarding functions (data plane) and decision making functions (control plane). In the SDN architecture, the control plane is abstracted and moved to a centralized controller.
These interfaces provide communication between the SDN controller and higher-level network applications and services, providing programmability and automation of network functions.
In an SDN environment, network traffic is organized into flows, and the SDN controller manages these flows by determining the best path for each one.
Centralized Network Management: SDN provides a single point of control for the entire network, simplifying network management and configuration.
Programmability and Automation: SDN provides automation through programmable interfaces, enabling dynamic network provisioning and adaptability.
Flexibility and scalability: SDN allows the network to quickly scale and reconfigure to meet changing requirements and workloads.
Network virtualization support: SDN is often used in conjunction with network virtualization to further increase network flexibility.
Network virtualization is the process of abstracting network resources from the underlying hardware, allowing multiple virtual networks to coexist on the same physical infrastructure. Each virtual network acts as if it has its own dedicated resources, allowing you to use multiple logically isolated networks at the same time.