Software Defined Networks

SDNThis week’s topic is about SDN (Software Defined Network).  This new technology is beginning to take notice of the IT world.  The theory behind this new technology is that it makes data networks become more efficient in the workplace.  Before we get into the details, we need to define SDN.

SDN (Software Defined Network) – There are two planes in network devices – a control plane that determines where network traffic is sent and a data plane that forwards traffic based on what the control plane tells it to do.  With SDN, both planes are detached from one other.  The data plane remains with the network hardware, but the control plane that makes the decisions about where traffic will be sent is executed through software.

This might sound a little confusing, so let’s look at practical example.

Think of a data plan as Grand Central Station in New York.  If you to arrive from Chicago and you want to go to Boston, you would need to switch trains. There are dozens of paths through Grand Central Station that can get you there – which is the fastest route?  Now imagine that there is someone who knows everyone’s destination and can tell them the best route to get there. Everyone would just breeze right through right?

Essentially a software- defined network is a software-based “traffic cop” for all traffic coming through the network.  With a click of a button, IT managers can define protocols on the basis of availability, efficiency, or capacity.  This allows organizations to decrease their reliance on more expensive switches with proprietary firmware that performs these functions and must be set manually

In some respects, SDN is a lot like cloud computing.  SDN’s promise is in the ability to virtualize an IT infrastructure.  So far, the biggest portion of the infrastructure that remains un-virtualized is the network.  All network hookup and breakdown operations can be done “by hand” as they are now but in the future, compressed project timeframes will look more like an efficient way to configure and breakdown networks.

Major technology vendors have yet to agree on a common set of standards for network products.  That doesn’t mean that SDN shouldn’t be on the roadmap, software will come to enterprises in one form or another.

I hope that you found this information helpful.  Please feel free to forward it to others.  If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to request a topic, please contact me. If you missed any past newsletters or would like a printed copy, please visit my website at.


Until next time…Happy Computing!!!


About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at


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