ISCG8051 Software Defined Networking

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Question:

Today’s network utilizes physical switches and routers, which are statically programmed using certified expertise in each vendor’s equipment.

Manual programming leads to equipment being underutilized and incurs significant labour costs. This is because highly skilled administrators must manually configure the equipment.

It would take too much time to alter the network configuration to suit the changing needs of businesses today.

Software Defined Networking, or SDN, is a more flexible and agile form of networking.

Objective

You should submit a research report, which will reflect your understanding of SDN and its potential applications, as well as the gaps in future research.

The following are the deliverables for your report

SDN and OpenFlow are essential to your understanding.

You will need to summarize your knowledge of SDN.

SDN’s benefits are discussed.

Discuss the potential for network enhancements with SDN as well as the challenges that network administrators will encounter when implementing SDN.

Critically reflect on the literature to identify possible solutions.

Discuss objective number 3 with regard to a specific application SDN (Wireless Sensor Network Enterprise Network Cellular Network Home Networking Financial trading etc.).

Critical review of existing literature regarding a specific application. Identify the research gaps for future work.

Answer:

Background

Understanding SDN and its application to modern network infrastructure is easier if you look back at past network designs, and especially the most commonly used.

Operation and functionality will be implemented in specific devices as part of the traditional approach to networking.

A switch or router will have specific instructions. In essence, these appliances are responsible only for the tasks assigned to them.

These functionalities can be implemented using physical hardware, such as ASIC (application specific integrated circuit).

SDN is a different perspective. It encourages virtualized network architectures that deal on software defined networks.

SDN is, in essence a way to approach network design through the use of abstract and independent elements.

SDN does not allow for the processing of different functionalities within one device. It instead decouples control information from data.

The final result is an application or control system that governs the network via intelligent policies developed by network experts.

This solution depends on OpenFlow, which provides forwarding access to network devices.

OpenFlow allows network devices like routers and switches access to the forwarding plane for any given network.

Researchers and network engineers can use this functionality to test new design protocols, without having access to the structure of network devices.

OpenFlow is a subset the broad concepts of SDN.

Fig. SDN Design Approach

SDN Critical Evaluation

SDN promises to simplify and centralize network management. This will allow large organisations to have the ease of managing networks in a similar way to enterprise information systems.

These benefits may increase depending on the vendor.

A free operating system is offered by SDN applications such as Microsoft Hyper-V network Virtualization.

This application does not require a license, unlike VMware NSX. The entire package is purchased, which allows for lower costs.

But, what technical or functional advantages does SDN have over the Microsoft Hyper-V software?

First, SDN allows centralised control over all network devices regardless of vendor.

Network administration is an essential component of an organisation. It allows for communication to be carried out smoothly and without interruption.

Traditional networks can be difficult to manage and maintain.

A router or physical switch, for example, is managed by an administrator based on its configurations.

This problem gets worse when multiple devices need management.

This application however provides the administrator with an interface to manage the device (Application program Interface API) from within the SDN console.

This allows the management to have a lower overhead for network control. Users can be isolated virtually without the need to use physical components.

If you have multiple departments in an organisation, VLANs (virtual area networks) can be created to isolate them. Hyper-V allows for isolation using SDN.

Additionally, the system integrates the requirements of the virtual world and the physical environment.

Modifying a network requires physical adjustments to be made in collaboration with other configurations.

Microsoft Hyper-V makes it possible to perform network modification without the need for collaboration from multiple teams.

Virtualization saves time and can be used to simplify a network architecture.

Virtualization of network architectures allows for upgrades to be performed quickly and easily on all devices.

Microsoft hyper-v SDN software also features snapshotting capabilities, which makes it easier to recover after failures because the configurations are stored within its own database system.

SDN provides isolation and secure traffic control via access control systems as also through firewalls.

Service providers can use the management APIs to provide centralised control over their processes.

Network administrators can also use the management console to create traffic policies and rules, which increases traffic control.

SDN applications, such as Microsoft Hyper-V, are software by nature. This makes it much easier to upgrade and extend capabilities based on network behaviours and requirements.

Potential For Network Advancements

A disruptive force is the key characteristic of software-defined network. It is both disruptive and innovative, which is what would make them unique.

Additionally, it affects all the major players in the industry, vendors included.

However, many important improvements have been made and will continue to lead to further network advancements.

One of these enhancements is the programmability and control structure of a network.

The deployment of network functionalities can be done faster, which will speed up the development of new hardware and software components.

Virtualization will also help to remove the limitations that are present in wireless networks, where providers are often limited by their ability to provide services that meet current user requirements.

SDN integration will reduce the implementation costs of these services, which will lead to better wireless solutions. For example, SDN-enabled switches for wireless networks.

SDN networks are a promising network advancement.

SDN offers open standards which can be used to build an open society that is free from prejudice and improve the speed of innovation.

OpenFlow is an example of an open standard that facilitates the research and prototyping of network systems.

High-skilled personnel are needed to install and configure modern networks.

These people, like network administrators, manage complex interaction among network nodes such a router or switch.

This is a difficult task, as existing systems are designed for isolation control.

Programming interfaces are intended for specific devices.

The existing infrastructure is a barrier to unifying the network administration, even though it is desirable to switch to a system-based design.

Additionally, many of these devices come from multiple vendors, increasing operational costs.

Multiple vendors may supply network applications and devices to a network.

Network technologies can also make administration difficult.

Think about this: A network administrator looking to change to SDN will need the ability to work with multiple vendor equipments, which can be used in different technologies.

Additionally, current financial trends have decreased the operating costs of network systems implementations.

This is because of the increasing cost of resources, which has led to a decrease in non-basic needs.

SDN is the unified networking management system that solves both the problems with network designs and the scarcity of resources.

SDN developers will face a scalability problem once implemented. Virtualization will result in increased data requirements.

An SDN application such as the one described above (Microsoft Hyper-V) relies on a central control, i.e.

The SDN console.

Because it is one device, it can’t be scaled easily. In addition, if it fails, all of the network is considered irrelevant. This creates a single point failure [9].

Solutions

Morton (2016) suggests that organizations should assess their current network infrastructure before embarking in a complete SDN transformation.

SDN is still facing many challenges. Most of these can be solved with time and research.

But, before SDN can be implemented, it’s important to evaluate its implications.

In order to ensure that the wireless network meets the minimal requirements, it is necessary to verify that the access points and modules are sufficient.

In order to integrate SDN architectures, you will need additional management tools. These tools must be purchased and supported before you can develop and implement a plan.

This careful analysis will help to keep the overall cost of setting up an SDN system at a minimum.

Although there is a basic design standard for network devices these equipment do not have the necessary nodes to link up to SDN consoles.

A wireless network would require an SDN-enabled device switch. The reason this was identified is that the current switches have been designed as standalone devices and can be controlled using the existing configurations.

Future standards should be developed by industry stakeholders to meet basic requirements for SDN systems.

Additionally, standards must include a scalable component that can be scaled to future outcomes in a manner similar to IPsec protocols [10].

These suggestions provide solutions to the problems that are currently being faced and offer solutions for the future.

Wireless Networks Research Gap

SDN is abstracted in a way that allows you to control mobile networks which are rapidly changing.

Today’s mobile networks are characterized by wireless technologies such LTE, 4G and Wi-Fi which are built to handle the growing demand for data traffic.

The convergence of wireless networks is the main focus of research and literature. This allows for the use of SDN components.

These views are supported by current proceedings which identify wireless networks as the most common way to access the internet.

Additionally, this result creates a higher demand for resources that requires a flexible design for service delivery.

An SDN approach to SDN allows you to meet these requirements. It separates control applications from the network infrastructure.

This approach can identify three main elements: the end user (mobile phones), the wireless network (WMN), as well as the control plane.

SDN-enabled device are identified at the WMN Section. These devices contain the network data, and thus can also be called the data plane.

This section also contains the control plane, where network managers can access SDN APIs for control.

This method is very convenient, as it provides dynamic solutions to network demands, particularly in the case of upgrades.

Fig.

SDN Implementation

Two areas of application are not covered when SDN designs are implemented in wireless networks: security and standards requirements.

There are many standard wireless security procedures (IPsec/WPA2, AES, etc.)

Although there are many standard wireless security procedures (IPsec, WPA2, and AES), the literature doesn’t focus on specific protocols.

One, it will combine devices from different manufacturers. Other protocols may be obsolete creating access loopholes.

It doesn’t matter what outcome is, security concerns can be alleviated by thorough research.

A few things are not mentioned in the standards for SDN products.

The interface requirements is a key challenge in SDN implementation. Devices that lack the required node may not be able to connect to SDN consoles.

To ensure that future equipment meets the minimum integration requirements, accurate proposals are required.

Future Work

SDN could have all the features and functionality needed to promote a unified architecture. But, given current trends, which include implementation challenges, SDN is headed for a troubled future.

SDN is an open-source technology that exposes it for many security violations.

This is why research is required to address the security issue.

SDN has a narrow perception. This is because the industrial stakeholders are only interested in how it will affect their networks.

A wider view is necessary to make the technology more attractive and useful in the future.

This technology is not device-oriented, but it is human-centered.

It is difficult for managers and organizations to accept a design that can easily be compromised by a single person.

Each new technology is not without its problems, and each one will eventually overcome them.

SDN must be able to adapt to the current environment and offer the same benefits as the rest, while still meeting the needs of its users.

These requirements can be both technical or policy/rule-related.

SDN must address security concerns, such as the one mentioned above.

It should also be able anticipate future network needs and provide pre-determined options.

This is evident in the case of scalability. With the current designs, the central control might not have sufficient storage and thus be less practical.

Conclusion

Software Defined Networks is seen more as a technological goal than as a technology. This has been reflected in a critical review.

The aim of the SDN is to separate control and data. There are therefore two main types of networks:

The data plane and the control plane.

Networks will be easier to program and implement because of this.

Open source policies will remove the monotony of some vendors involved in the development of networking equipment.

It will allow virtualization to be more controllable, flexible, efficient, and even scalable.

It is possible to integrate the Microsoft Hyper-V application with the cloud, which is a key future technology, much easier than traditional networking systems.

Despite its many benefits, there are also some limitations and challenges.

However, the majority of these problems and limitations can easily be overcome using research that has been done in other technologies.

It has only been used in limited cases by a few companies. However, it is still seen as a trial project and where further testing is required.

SDN needs to show its worth to these companies by offering the solutions. This will ensure that it has a wide application.

Refer to

SDN 101: An introduction into software-defined networks.

Software-Defined networking: Why it’s so popular and how to build on it.

White paper.

Eight Big Benefits of Software Defined Networking.

Software-defined networks (SDN).

Tech target.

Traditional vs. software-defined networking.

IP knowledge.

Calsoft labs.

SDN is the magic of networking.

S & Flinck.

Software Defined Networking to Enhance Security in Wireless Mobile Networks.

Are we ready for SDN

Software-defined networking implementation challenges

IEEE Comsoc technology updates.

Software-Defined Networking: The Challenges

Migration to SDN is possible: A case study.

Extreme Networks.

What is the future SDN?

TAP into the technology.

Software-Defined Networking, (SDN), Definition.

Software-Defined network: The new norm for networks.

White Paper by ONF.

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