Software Defined Networking

What is a Software Defined Network?

Software-defined networking (SDN) is an architecture designed to make a network more flexible and easier to manage. SDN centralizes management by abstracting the control plane from the data forwarding function in the discrete networking devices. -- Cisco
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging architecture that is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable, making it ideal for the high-bandwidth, dynamic nature of today’s applications. This architecture decouples the network control and forwarding functions enabling the network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted for applications and network services.

SDN Architecture:


Network control is directly programmable because it is decoupled from forwarding functions.


Abstracting control from forwarding lets administrators dynamically adjust network-wide traffic flow to meet changing needs.


Network intelligence is (logically) centralized in software-based SDN controllers that maintain a global view of the network, which appears to applications and policy engines as a single, logical switch.


SDN lets network managers configure, manage, secure, and optimize network resources very quickly via dynamic, automated SDN programs, which they can write themselves because the programs do not depend on proprietary software.


When implemented through open standards, SDN simplifies network design and operation because instructions are provided by SDN controllers instead of multiple, vendor-specific devices and protocols.

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Features and benefits

Simplify operations

Reduce complexity by decoupling the control and data planes, while making automation highly secure and scalable.

Build programmable networks

Eliminate manual configuration. Provision and manage data centers, campuses, and wide-area networks.

Lay the foundation for intent

Centralize configuration, management, control, monitoring, service delivery, and cloud automation.