Software Defined Networking: Joe Little, Stanford • Guru Parulkar, Stanford • Johan van Reijendam, Stanford
SDN is a new approach to networking that has the potential to enable on-going network innovation in a production setting. Key aspects of SDN include: separation of data and control planes; a uniform vendor agnostic interface called OpenFlow between control and data planes; logically centralized control plane, realized using a network OS, that constructs and presents a logical map of the entire network to services or control applications on top; and slicing and virtualization of the underlying network. In SDN a researcher, network administrator, or third party can introduce a new capability by writing a software program that simply manipulates the logical map of a slice of the network.

Researchers around the world are starting to deploy SDN networks for research and limited production use. SDN networks also form the network substrate of NSF's GENI infrastructure designed to enable research at scale in networking and distributed systems. Industry is embracing SDN. Network operators plan to build their infrastructure using this innovative technology. Incumbent vendors as well as startups are developing a range of products for different market segments including data center, service provider and enterprise.

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