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Software-Defined Networking

What Is Software-Defined Networking?

Software-defined networking (SDN) is a software-based approach to networking, as opposed to traditional networking, which relies mainly on hardware. In networking, there is the control plane and the data plane. The control plane decides how traffic will be routed, and the data plane forwards the traffic on these routes.


In a traditional networking setup, when there is a change in network configuration, there also needs to be a change to the hardware. With SDN, the routes are controlled centrally by software, allowing changes and troubleshooting to be a more efficient, centralized process.

Why is Software Defined-Networking Important?

Software-defined networking is important because it offers a powerful, cost-effective, agile alternative to traditional networking. Network changes that normally take a lot of time and resources can be accommodated more nimbly via SDN.

How Does Software-Defined Networking Work?

The architecture of software-defined networking is made of SDN controllers, applications, and data plane devices. The SDN controller decides how traffic is routed and sends information to the data plane to implement the plan. Applications run on the SDN controller and can control policies for the network, configurations, and automation. The data plane devices move and forward traffic based on the instructions they receive from the SDN controllers.

What are the Benefits of Software-Defined Networking?

SDN comes with cost, security, and performance benefits. It can be expensive to make changes to a traditional network. With SDN, not only can changes be made centrally, many tasks can also be automated, cutting down on manual time and errors.


With the programmable nature of SDN, there are also more opportunities to identify threats and address security risks compared to traditional networking. SDN is also helpful for disaster recovery because it can, for example, be used to spin up a backup network during an outage using any network infrastructure that is available. Centralizing the controls can also improve traffic flow and performance in the network.

What are the Main Types of Software-Defined Networking?

There are three types of SDN: Open, commercial, and hybrid SDN.


Open SDN uses open protocols and standards in networking and can incorporate hardware and software from different vendors. The ability to pick and choose with open SDN can be a more cost-effective and flexible alternative.


Commercial SDN comes from a vendor. While it can be more expensive, it can also be more straightforward and user-friendly to implement. Hybrid SDN combines both open and commercial SDN.

How TierPoint Can Help With Software-Defined Networking

Businesses that are able to embrace emerging technologies and innovate can be at a competitive advantage. Software Defined Networking can enable the agility necessary to compete. The stakes are too high to compromise with service instability, as it can hinder performance, disrupt operations, and undermine the overall efficiency of your digital infrastructure. It is imperative to prioritize dependable and robust network IT services to ensure seamless operations and optimal outcomes.

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