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Applications of Software Defined Networking

by Juniper Employee ‎12-07-2012 11:03 AM - edited ‎12-14-2012 09:09 AM


One of the perks of living in Silicon Valley is the opportunity to see fancy cars. What can be fancier than a self-driven car? What if networks can work this way? Recently, I analyzed Software Defined Networking (SDN) and its applications for the Virtual Strategy Magazine. In this article, I evaluate ‘what is the end goal?’ that SDN sets out to solve. At a high level, the challenges are resource utilization, network management, error management, and rate of innovation. Can Software Defined Networking help alleviate some of these challenges?


SDN changes the architecture of the network devices as illustrated in the simplified picture below:


SDN Chart.jpg



The article discusses the three components of SDN and their benefits in detail:

  1. Separation of the control plane from the data plane
  2. Centralization of the control plane
  3. Higher-level northbound interfaces


Then I evaluate what the SDN controller can do for us. The SDN controller has end-to-end visibility of a network. With this information, SDN is uniquely positioned to have a positive impact on the network. It can also perform existing applications better. Let us look at some of these benefits:

  1. Anywhere access to information via the cloud
  2. Network management
  3. Resource utilization
  4. Security
  5. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  6. Network service chaining
  7. Faster innovation
  8. Bandwidth calendaring
  9. Network programmability
  10. Energy management


Juniper Networks® JunosV App Engine addresses many of the applications listed above. It is a platform for network functions virtualization (NFV). You can read the article here and view the slideshow here (slide #3). I would like to hear from you about your thoughts on SDN, use cases, etc.


Contact me via Twitter @NatarajanPriya

by Bala_sanjose(anon) on ‎12-12-2012 09:58 AM

Hi Priya,


I'm curious to know if the Northbound APIs also include calls to help troubleshoot. I presume troubleshooting in such a centralized approach can get tricky and complicated. How do we address fault isolation and recovery?





by Juniper Employee on ‎12-15-2012 07:28 AM

Hi Bala,


Effective identification and isolation is critical for troubleshooting. As you rightly point out, troubleshooting can become a problem with SDN, if it is not well thought out. We need agents in the network elements that communicate with analytics engine in the controller to monitor network performance. When an issue is detected, SDN controller should be able to analyze the data and communicate with its NB systems via APIs. The trick is to do the analytics without degrading the performance of the controller.


Thanks for reading and engaging!



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