It can be argued that there’s never been a time when innovation was needed more in data center networks.
The increased reliance on information served up from cloud or enterprise data centers has made it vital to bring new security, performance management, privacy, traffic segregation, service-level agreement and revenue generation applications to the network.
Software-defined networking (SDN) and the Intel® Open Network Platform (ONP) help to open the network to this innovation, which brings us to the last in a series of blog posts about SDN use cases. This one focuses on the way this new network paradigm helps to simplify network application / service deployment.
SDN’s primary innovation is that it separates a network’s control plane from its data plane in order to centralize packet processing in a software controller. That makes it easier to deploy network-wide policies or services because the controller has a comprehensive perspective on data flows, including congestion information, QoS, security etcetera.
Logically, the SDN controller sits above the infrastructure layer, but below an application layer with standardized APIs that allow easy integration of business applications.
Thus, applications that used to require standalone hardware and could only see the traffic passing through them, can now be run on a server and can manage an entire network using information available from the controller.
It's the disaggregation of the network into these logical layers that makes this possible. Intel has taken that concept one step further with its Open Network Platform announcement, which opens up key elements at each layer so that any OEM can leverage this infrastructure in the development of an SDN application. Take a look at www.intel.com/onp to get more information about ONP.
Applications bring added user features to a network, but also impact the manageability and performance of the network. SDN lays the foundation for companies like Intel to open up the network for this innovation.