Software Defined Networking

Software Defined Networking is a proposed architecture which aims to flatten the switching network topology and move the control function to an external entity away from the switching/forwarding entity. In the proposed architecture, different functions are segregated into 3 different layers

  • Application layer – At this layer the application specific logic resides. Such application can be more ‘network-capability-aware’ than ‘network-aware’ to effectively use the switching network resources.
  • Control layer: At this layer the SDN-Controller function resides. The SDN-Controller exposes northbound APIs to the application layer and manages interworking with the SDN-ready devices.
  • Infrastructure layer: This layer actually consists of the SDN-ready networking devices.

Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has proposed OpenFlow protocol which specifics the southbound API to dynamically configure the flow-tables within the data plane forwarding entities (switching fabric).

At HSC we understand that SDN is an evolving area and opens up new software development opportunities.

  • The switches will have to be SDN-ready by supporting OpenFlow or an equivalent protocol. HSC team has good experience in protocols and embedded systems and can work with the switch vendor for incorporating support for OpenFlow or OpenFlowConf or NetConf.
  • SDN applications will make use of the networking devices via the SDN controllers. A given SDN controller will have to interwork with a variety of switching devices from different vendors. HSC has familiarity with SDN controllers such as OpenDayLight and can develop the required OpenFlow plugins for different devices.
  • The northbound API definition will evolve slowly and will mostly be driven by specific usecases. HSC has worked on definition and implementation of such northbound API for configuring switching devices. HSC has also built SDKs for the same. HSC offers to develop northbound API for SDN controllers and the SDK for such API.
  • Development of broker layer (or interworking function) for mapping of the (vendor specific) proprietary API to OpenFlow API
  • The SDN architecture will promote new applications that implement use-case specific logic (heuristic or analytic) to (sub)optimally utilize the network resources (switches/ routers). The optimization/decision criteria could be end-2-end-delay, path-cost, load balancing, time-of-day-plan etc. HSC has developed a number of control applications for third party service delivery platforms in the IN space (such as criteria based routing) and has good insight in network routing. HSC offers to develop SDN applications on third party platforms.
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