December 1, 2014

Defining Software Defined Networking: Part 1

Editor’s Note: Over the next several weeks we will run a seven-part series about software defined networking (SDN). The stories serve as education resources and as a way to help better understand what SDN means to people developing and managing new stack infrastructures.

Thomas S. Kuhn, in his highly-influential work ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’, defines the term paradigm as “universally recognized scientific achievements that, for a time, provide model problems and solutions for a community of researchers. Going by this, categorizing Software Defined Networking (SDN) as a “new networking paradigm’ may not be an overstatement. Referring again to Kuhn’s words, SDN is also “sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for the redefined group of practitioners to resolve”.

SDN has been defined by different researchers in different terms, and the one which is more general and inclusive one is provided by Brandon Heller [1] is as follows:

“SDN is about refactoring of the relationship between network devices and the software that controls them.”


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