Software Defined Networking (SDN) – Architecture and role of Openflow


In our previous article, we had a good overview of SDN as a technology, why it’s needed, and how IT industry is adopting it. Now, let’s get a layer deeper, and understand SDN’s architecture and the role of the Openflow protocol in the implementation of the technology.

SDN broadly consists of three layers:

  1. Application layer
  2. Control layer
  3. Infrastructure layer

Let us try and understand these layers in bottom-to-up approach.

Infrastructure layer is composed of various networking equipment which forms underlying network to forward network traffic. It could be a set of network switches and routers in the data centre. This layer would be the physical one over which network virtualization would be laid down through the control layer (where SDN controllers would sit and manage underlying physical network).

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