What is this SDN thing?

Jeremy Bankston Tech Blog

I was chatting with another cyber professional today and we got to talking about Software Defined Networking (SDN) and what it means for the future of networking, as well as what Cisco’s roll may be in that future.  Since it was on my mind this evening I thought I would write briefly on the subject.

First off, SDN is not virtualization.  It is a way of centralizing control of everything in your network, including physical layer 2 and layer 3 devices.  In addition to lowering the total cost of ownership it can allow a network to be more easily controlled, more agile, and more programmable.  The SDN movement is being headed by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) which has defined a protocol called OpenFlow.  OpenFlow allows a central server, called a controller, to manage control over the flow of data, reportedly allowing it to see a better “big picture” of…

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