What Is SDN And How Is It Different From SD-WAN?

December 1, 2022

What exactly is SDN, or software-defined networking?

A group of technologies known as “software-defined networking” (SDN) enables network management through software. IT managers may use a software programme to customise their networks thanks to SDN technology. SDN software is interoperable, therefore it ought to be able to function with any router or switch, regardless of the manufacturer.

The control plane is what?

SDN is technically made feasible by dividing the control plane and data plane. “Plane” is a networking word that denotes an amorphous idea of the location of networking operations. The data plane is the actual data moving via the network, whereas the control plane refers to networking operations that regulate network traffic. The control plane does this by deciding which protocols should be utilised and defining network paths.

Consider the control plane to be similar to the collection of stoplights that are present at city junctions. The data plane, on the other hand, resembles vehicles more since they travel on roads, stop at junctions, and adhere to stoplights.

Each router or switch must be configured separately in networking installations that solely employ physical hardware. The data plane, as well as the underlying network infrastructure, and the control plane, are linked heavily. The control plane may be configured from a central place thanks to SDN, which separates it from the data plane and the hardware.

Network topology: What is it?

Data movement inside a network is referred to as “network topology.” Network topology is established and modified by the control plane. Consider once more the stoplights that operate at city junctions. In a city, the topology of the roadways and different destinations is represented by the network routes, and the destinations are represented by the computer devices. At the “intersections” of these routes, routers and switches serve as stoplights.

The actual locations of routers, switches, and computers in relation to one another are not considered in the definition of network topology. Instead, it just concerns the routes that data travels within the network. If two computers are directly connected to a network switch via Ethernet cables, and Computer A is next to the switch on the near side of the room and Computer B is on the far side, then according to the network topology, both computers are equally far from the switch.

Because the control plane in SDN is independent of the underlying hardware, software may be used to alter the network topology as opposed to hardware. Remembering the previous example, if an administrator using SDN desired to change the location of Computer B in the network topology, they could do so by using their networking software to restructure the network so that traffic first passed through a switch and then (for example) a different router before arriving at Computer B.

What are some of the SDN’s primary applications?

Large data centres are increasingly utilising software-defined networks. A data centre is a group of computers and networking hardware that processes, stores, and transfers data. Data centres are often contained within a single structure. Data centres house almost all web servers, and many businesses establish their own data centres to house corporate data and run internal applications (e.g. corporate email). SDN makes administrative tasks considerably simpler within data centres since they utilise such a large amount of physical networking equipment.

SDN also makes it simpler for businesses to establish hybrid clouds by connecting their on-premises infrastructure and cloud infrastructure. Software and SDN software may integrate independent of the underlying hardware, making corporate clouds more easier to connect to than hardware, which frequently causes compatibility concerns. In fact, a lot of suppliers provide SDN products in addition to cloud services, which makes hybrid cloud integrations much easier.

What distinguishes SDN and SD-WAN from one another?

difference between SDN and SD-WAN?

Software-based network architectures include software-defined wide area networks, or SD-WANs. One use for software-defined networking is SD-WANs. In essence, SDN is used by all SD-WANs, however not all SDNs are SD-WANs.

As more businesses migrate their technology stacks to the cloud, many are turning to SDN or SD-WANs. They can be more adaptable thanks to a virtualized networking architecture that is software-based. Software-defined networks, however, are vulnerable to a number of threats, including DDoS attacks. Networks in the on-premises, hybrid, and cloud are safeguarded from such assaults by Cloudflare Magic Transit.

Additionally, Cloudflare Magic WAN offers an SD-WAN substitute that is quicker and more secure. Study up on Magic WAN.