SDN: Software-Defined Networking

SDN definition

SDN or Software-defined networking is an infrastructure design approach to let system administrators, networking engineers and devops to manage and control the networking devices in a data center in a dynamic way using programmable and open interfaces through REST APIs.

The main requirement of software-defined networking comes from the current needs of dynamic, scalable, cost-effective and flexible infrastructure in a data center, avoiding the traditional static, hardware based and monolithic IT architectures that are obsolete.

The software-defined architecture decouples the control plane, that controls and takes the decisions where the traffic is going, and the data path, which manages and forwards the packets.

SDN challenges

The main architectural challenges that defines a SDN are:

Programmability. Allows fully programmable automation through open standards with REST APIs by system administrators and devops in order to be fully integrated through any framework.
Agility. Simplify the network design and operation through the disassociation of the control plane and the data path, that permits a upper layer of abstraction easing the network definition and avoiding vendor-specific devices and protocols.
Central controller. The centralized intelligence of the network permits to manage large scale network infrastructures like one unique device and allows to orchestrate the different policies for traffic management, storage, security, application delivery, etc.

Different Software-defined applications that have been evolved under this paradigm are:

SDx (Software-defined Everything). It compounds all the different applications and infrastructure fields beyond the data center challenges (ie. IoT and critical systems) that are within the software-defined paradigm.
SDI (Software-defined Infrastructure). It defines the concept that infrastructure within a data center are orchestrated and scalable by software programmatically.
SDM (Software-defined Memory). It defines a solution where the memory is a provisioned resource through software.
SDMN (Software-defined Mobile Networking).
SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network). It defines a solution where the communication of different branches, internet access bandwidth management, latency, and wide area network problems are solved using a software-defined solution.
SD-LAN (Software-defined Local Area Network). It defines a solution where the local area network problems like packet congestion, throughput, low latency and isolation of services are solved using a software-defined solution.
SDR (Software-defined Radio). It defines the digital programmability traditionally analogical radio communications like modulators/demodulators, filters, mixers, amplifiers, etc.
SDS (Software-defined Storage). Policy and programmable storage provisioning through software.
SDP (Software-defined Protection). Policy and programmable security provisioning through software like DoS and DDoS protection, blacklists, firewall per service or application, etc.
SDDC (Software-defined Data Center). It defines the programmability of the provisioning and policies of the whole data center resources through a software-defined paradigm.
SDAD (Software-defined Application Delivery). It defines the application delivery provisioning and policies through a software-defined solutions that provides load balancing, high availability, application monitoring and reporting among others.

Zevenet approach to SDN

Zevenet 5 has been designed to fulfill the medium and large network environments by implementing a comprehensive REST API with full open specification that permits the complete integration in a SDN infrastructure via the capabilities of programmability, agility and central controller.

Under the SDx paradigm, Zevenet ADC provides the following software-defined capabilities to be integrated in a software-defined data center:

SDN capabilities through the provisioning and programmable management of advanced networking configuration, virtual and vlan interfaces, floating IPs, link aggregation, advanced routing, network real time statistics and reports. More info…
SD-WAN capabilities through the provisioning and centrally management of virtual services for uplinks aggregation, high availability of WAN access, load balancer at routing level and statistics. More info…
SDP capabilities through the definition of policies at networking and per virtual service/application level of Dos mitigations, local and remote geo blacklisting, SSL cipher security hardening, HTTP/S threats mitigation among others. More info…
SDDC capabilities through the definition of programmable interfaces to allow the provisioning and central management of geolocated virtual services across different data centers. More info…
SDAD capabilities through the definition of programmable interfaces to allow the provisioning and central management of virtual and floating services with high availability intrinsically at networking and application levels, load balancing, monitoring, application reporting, SSL offload, different architectural topology services implementation, proxying capabilities, packet and data optimized treatment at L4 and L7 among others. More info…

SDN references – REST API for software defined programmability of Zevenet ADC. – SDN definition in wikipedia.

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