What Is SDN Networking?

More than a decade ago since the concept of SDN proposed on the heel of OpenFlow, software-defined networking has experienced several year’s research. Until 2012, after Google’s announcement of its backbone network successfully operated on OpenFlow, distributing 12 data centers in the world and increasing WAN utilization from 30% to nearly 100%, OpenFlow had proved its identification as a mature and advanced technology to be applied in the data center networks. Correspondingly SDN networking compliant with programmable feature of OpenFlow protocol become a booming networking technology in the big data centers. What is SDN? What are the advantages brought about by SDN networking? This article may help you to understand.

fs 40g 100g open switches support SDN networking

What Is SDN Networking?

Software-defined networking (SDN) is a technology developed to cater for modern high bandwidth and dynamic applications. It is invented in the historical context to change existing stalled networking infrastructure to a dynamic and manageable one. The core technology is on the basis of OpenFlow protocol to divide software from hardware network device, which makes SDN support software defined functionality. As thus software-defined networking infrastructure becomes more flexible and agile. For instance, SDN networking achieves centralized management by one remote monitoring controller. All network components in the structure such as severs, routers, or Ethernet data switch can be easily added and removed in an efficient way.

What Are the Advantages of SDN Networking?

Software Programmable

SDN technology detaches network control from networking hardware devices, making SDN networking directly programmable. Operators can write the SDN program themselves and quickly implement configuration, management, security monitoring and networking optimization. As thus the flexible SDN Networking supports flexible tracking control to adjust traffic agilely and cater for dramatic demands.

Open Standard and Control via SDN Control Plane

SDN networking deploys a centralized intelligent controller, which programs devices like SDN data switch by software, bridges communication between data devices and applications and displays the network panorama in a virtual switch. It leaves out troubles of differentiating network devices and supports customized control. For instance, in a leaf-spine architecture 10 gigabit switch and 40/ 100GbE switch are deployed in data center different layers. A SDN controller in SDN networking can manage each switch synchronously.

SDN switch SDN controller Applciations in SDN networking

Figure 1: SDN switches and other network applications are controlled and communicated via SDN protocol by a centralized SDN controller in SDN network environment.

What Are the Applications of SDN Networking?

In traditional architecture, reconfiguring a network device is a cumbersome task. Driving by the fast changing Internet business applications, modern networking environment requires for functionality to achieve flexible adjustment. SDN networking meets the need, booming and busting in wide applications. Software-defined networking has developed into three networking branches: software-defined mobile networking (SDMN), software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and software-defined local area networking (SD-LAN). Overall SDN is frequently used in data center applications. For instance, deploying SDN switch provided by FS.COM such as FS N5850-48S6Q 48 port 10 gigabit switch with 6 QSFP+ 40GbE ports in SDN networking environment can achieve easy flow control and configuration.

deploying FS 40100GbE switch in SDN networking

Figure 2: Deploying FS 40/100GbE switch in software-defined networking environment as a SDN visibility and security solution.

Conclusion

SDN technology transfers the stagnant situation of internet networking architecture, making SDN networking flexible and agile to business applications. Detaching control functionality from hardware devices (eg. SDN switch), SDN networking achieves quick configuration and management via a centralized SDN controller. Operators can reset an Ethernet switch through SDN protocol in a quick and easy way.

Whitebox Switch: Are You Ready for Deploy It?

With the development of Cloud services and networking, 40G/100G whitebox switch become very popular in the market. These switches will provide Web scale organizations and service providers more control and flexibility in their data center networks. So what is whitebox switch? Whitebox switches refers to the ability to use ‘generic,’ off-the-shelf switching (or whitebox switching) and routing hardware, in the forwarding plane of a software-defined network (SDN). Moreover, whitebox switches rely on an operating system (OS), which may come already installed or can be purchased from a software vendor and loaded separately, and then integrate with the deploying organization’s Layer 2/Layer 3 topology and support a set of basic networking features. On the whole, OS is an integral part of whitebox switches, and the rise of SDN has brought whitebox switches into the public eye. Next, let’s take a closer look at whitebox switches.

Whitebox Switch

OS Defines Whitebox Switch

Whitebox switches are useless without software, because every switch needs an operating system. The OS needs to seamlessly integrate with existing L2/L3 topology and support a basic set of features. A common operating system for whitebox switches is Linux-based, because many open and free Linux tools are available, which can help administrators customize the switches to their needs. Typically, a whitebox switch may come pre-loaded with minimal software or it may be sold as a bare metal device. The advantage of the whitebox switches is that switches can be customized to meet an organization’s specific business and networking needs.

Network OS

However, how to put the OS on the whitebox switches? Some vendors sell a complete solution with the OS that is already installed on the whitebox, while others set up distributors to provide the bare metal devices that the OS is directly brought from the software vendor. Both of these two approaches are feasible, depending on the scale of the deployment and the desire for the network.

SDN & Whitebox Switch

Beyond the operating system, whitebox switches are more valuable if they interact with SDN controllers. And the widespread implementation of SDN has boosted the use of whitebox switches. SDN is an approach to design, build and manage networks, which can separate the network’s control and forwarding planes. In result, the network control will become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure will be abstracted for applications and network services. The goal of SDN is to enable cloud and network engineers and administrators to respond quickly to changing business requirements via a centralized control console. At the same time, the switches in SDN environment rely on software-based network function virtualization (NFV), which offers great convenience for the users of whitebox switches. Because whitebox switch allows its customers to choose the best suitable operating system for themselves. And in the future, most whitebox switches will function in an SDN environment in which the SDN controller is making forwarding and control-plane decisions from a centralized point for all switches in the network.

sdn

The Growing Market for Whitebox Switch

In general, the data center Ethernet switch market has seen tremendous growth and investment over the past years. The Layer 2-3 Ethernet switch market is expected to exceed $25 billion in 2019, according to Dell’Oro Group. What’s more, some high-end users are tired of vendor lock-in switches, and they might be ready to try a whitebox switch to get what they want. Whitebox switches can customize the system to limit unneeded processes and concentrate the processing power of the switch on the important features, so it leads to a customized switch platform that provides perfect performance for a narrow range of uses. Customers with highly unique support needs will also benefit from whitebox switches. Through the separation of software and hardware, customers can obtain different support levels for hardware and software.

FS.COM 40G/100G Whitebox Switch Solutions

FS.COM 40G/100G whitebox switches are based on IPinfusion’s ZebOS with integration of Layer 2 to Layer 4 packet processing engine, traffic management and fabric interface. The aim is to achieve flexibility, scalability, efficiency and cost effectiveness in data center networks. Furthermore, the operating systems of these switches are developed on the basis of Linux and similar to Arista EOS. Last but not least, all the 40G/100G whitebox switches in FS.COM support SDN function which can make networks more affordable and easier to manage.

fs-40g-100g-white-box-switches

All in all, the whitebox switches support current and future data center requirements, which is ideally suited for data center environments in either Leaf or Spine deployments. They provide superior low latency and power efficiency in a clean PHYless design, while offering high reliability features such as redundant and hot swappable power supplies and fans in forward and reverse airflow configurations. And they provide QSFP+ ports, which enable flexible choices of port speed providing unparalleled flexibility and the ability to seamlessly transition data centers to the next generation of Ethernet performance.

Summary

Whitebox switches can be deployed either in the data center or in the access network, which can reduce capital expenditures and leverage open SDN tools to improve time to deployment and automation. If you want to deploy whitebox switches with lower cost and great flexibility, welcome to contact us via www.fs.com.