Software-Defined Network (SDN) is utilized in the promotion of quality of service availed by a network in the distribution environment. The SDN architecture is explained by outlining its three layers, namely infrastructure, controller, and application layers, and their relationships. The study of SDN is essential for computer engineering majors in that it offers new techniques for designing, building, and operating networks. The future developments relating to SDN will major in improving reliability and safety. It is essential to understand there are certifications relating to SDN activities, and these include Professional Certification (SDN-P), Components Certification (SDN-C), and Internal SDN-test bed development.
Recent years has seen the popularization of software-defined networking (SDN) since it seeks to enable programmability that is absent in the current networking models. It also promotes easier and more efficient network development. It segregates data place from control place and enables software implementation of comprehensive network utilization. The objective of SDN is the provision of a network whereby the user controls the forwarding hardware. It utilizes the capability to segregate the data plane and the control plane. The control place can communicate with data planes of the equipment, namely the switches or routers. The model allows the view of the whole network and enables alterations globally without configuring each device. The paper examines the architecture of SDN, its future, and the essence of a computer science major. It also examines the necessary certification related to SDN activities.
The paper adheres to the definition provided by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) which is "In the SDN architecture, the control and data planes are decoupled, network intelligence and state are logically centralized, and the underlying network infrastructure is abstracted from the applications" . The emphasis of SDN is in four key areas. These include:
- The control panel is segregated from the data layer,
- Centralizing the controller and outlook of the entire system,
- Development of open spaces between the two places and the devices,
- Ensuring the system can be programmed from external applications.
Figure 1 below shows the SDN architecture, which encompasses different layers, namely, the bottom tier is the data plane, also referred to as the infrastructure layer. It entails the forward network components with the function of forwarding data in addition to the evaluation of local information and collecting statistics.
Next, there is the central layer, which is known as the control layer or the control plane. Its programs and manages the forwarding layer. It utilizes information from the forwarding layer in the determination of network operation and routing . The control plane entails various software controllers for interaction with forwarding network components. It is accomplished through the use of standardized interfaces known as southbound interfaces.
The top layer entails the functional applications, which include security tracking, networking, and access control. The application place can obtain abstractions and global outlook of the network, and then utilize the signals to offer the necessary assistance to the control layer. There is a northbound interface that connects the infrastructure and the control layer.
Importance of Software-Defined Networking
It operates by offering an open, user-controlled management system in a network for the management of forwarding elements. It is especially important in computer engineering as it offers new techniques for designing, building, and operating networks. It also provides ways of changing network switch rule appropriately, to prioritize, deprioritize and sometimes block certain types of packets. It, therefore, means this provides an excellent foundation for a computer engineering student major.
SDN technology is still in its infancy stages despite years of development. The fundamental challenge in the use of SDN and the use of cloud computing is significant bandwidth requirements . The future of SDN will be trying to address some of the problems it has presented . It includes the development and innovation of SDN applications that strengthen security. It also helps in safeguarding the SDN infrastructure itself.
Learning about SOFTWARE-DEFINED NETWORKING
It is correct to postulate that SDN is a relatively new paradigm utilized in the design, development, and management of networks. A learner should make one crucial differentiation that control and forwarding planes are segregated, thereby preparing the control panel and the forwarding places for improved optimization. The next step is understanding the essential elements that constitute software-defined networks. First, there is the SDN Controller, which is the center of the system allowing users to access the central view of the entire network. Second, there are southbound APIs that forwards information to the switches and routers. Lastly, there are northbound APIs that transmit data to the applications enabling administrators to manage traffic and launch services. These are some of the essential details a learner should examine.
Currently, there are few certifications concerning SDN activities. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is one of the organizations involved in the service provider certification program. First, there is Professional Certification (SDN-P) that covers the creation of a Body of SDN knowledge (BoSK) and the establishment of necessary educational resources. There is also a formulation of examination tools such as the SDN-P Certification Exam. Second, there is Components Certification (SDN-C), which necessitates the development of requirements, application areas, and benchmarks in collaboration with other stakeholders in the industry. Third, there is internal SDN-test bed development in which certification processes are formulated according to initial testbed examinations. There is also a necessity for education activities in the SDN-test bed for curriculum development.
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