The Needs for SDN
Since the beginning of “Post-PC Era”, we have seen people using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and they have become more focused on Apps and cloud services to perform their tasks. This explosion of mobile devices and cloud contents require enterprises and service providers to synchronize their information and services seamlessly in order to stay competitive in the market. Thus, many businesses operators have begun to reevaluate traditional network architectures.
Legacy network architectures are static, built with a structured tree-like tier of proprietary hardware equipments including switches, CDN, carrier routers, WAN acceleration and firewalls. Each specific hardware equipment serves one specific purpose. Whenever a new hardware device is installed into the architecture, IT personnel may even have to configure the command-line interface to make sure all the hardware are harmoniously operating together. In other words, hardware from various vendors may run into protocol conflicts. The whole architecture is static and so costly to scale up when considering the hardware investment and circuit re-layout. Thus, the legacy architecture has become unsuitable towards the changing traffic patterns, the widespread of cloud services, and the Big Data. It is time to have a new network architecture which promises a dynamic, scalable and agile management. Obviously, SDN (Software-Defined Network) seems to be the next.
Advantages of SDN
SDN provides dynamic, cost-effective and centrally manageable solution that also offers scalable bandwidth. The central concept of SDN is to categorize the network into Control Plane and Data Plane, and there is a Controller that owns all the administration. In other words, SDN provides a centrally manageable administration to the owner of the network architecture.
Centrally Manageable -- In terms of the protocol, SDN allows IT personnel to setup patterns and logic of packet flow based on SLA (Service Level Agreement). For security purpose, SSL can be implemented between Control Plane and Data Plane to establish packet transfers. Once security and protocols are set, the whole architecture can reduce considerable latencies caused by protocol incompatibility. In other words, instructions and policies are set by administrator, no longer by vendors.
Easy Maintenance -- SDN also promises easy maintenance. Since network administration is defined by software, owners and IT personnel just have to update the software and firmware of the Controller, Data Plane and Control Plane, unlike the legacy approach that requires IT staff to configure each hardware one after another.
Programmable -- Due to its software-defined nature, network owners/managers are allowed to configure and manage their SDN through programmable software and API. Remember, nothing in SDN architecture is proprietary so configuration can be set to specific needs.
Agile -- SDN provides an abstract level of control through forwarding so that administrators can adjust traffic flow and patterns in order to respond to the fast-paced, rapid-changing traffic by mobile devices.
Software-defined Everything (SDE)
SDN is no doubt on the rapid rise and there is a foreseen future of “SDE” (Software-Defined Everything) as many SDN-based applications have been implemented such as SD-WAN, SD Security and SDMN.
This technological application adopts software-defined concepts into WAN (wide area network). The use of SD-WAN lower the establishment costs of network connections between branch offices and headquarter/data centers. SD-WAN also replaces legacy MPLS lines. With software-defined functionality, administrator can easily configure and manage corporate WAN.
Learn More about Lanner Use case for SD-WAN
The implementation of SDN architecture also improves functionality of network security applications. There have been practical cases that security applications can be built upon SDN controller and run effectively against DDoS or Botnet. The idea is based on software-defined protocols to periodically receive network statistics, and leveraging the collected data to apply algorithms and instructions for detection and prevention of network abnormalities.
Learn More about Lanner Use case for SD-Security
SDMN -- It is a SDN-approach architectural design targeting on mobile networks. SDMN serves as an extension of the SDN architecture but also including specific functionalities for mobile network.
Custom Network Platforms for SDN Applications
Lanner is a world leading provider of design, engineering and manufacturing services for advanced and customizable SDN and NFV network computing appliances for system integrator, service providers and application developers.
Lanner offers a wide range of network appliances including desktop network appliances as vCPE gateways deployed at business branches, as well as carrier-grade, high availability NFVi-ready network platforms installed at Telco’s datacenter. All Lanner’s rackmount network appliances are built with a variety of Intel x86 CPU options, crypto-acceleration support, LAN-bypass functions and expansion network modules to form the perfect appliances to accelerate your SDN/NFV deployment.