Chapter 17

Software-Defined Networking and OpenFlow

Saurav Das, Dan Talayco and Rob Sherwood,      Big Switch Networks, Mountain View, CA, USA

In this chapter, we provide an architectural overview of software-defined networking (SDN), before diving more deeply into the two abstractions that define SDN: the flow abstraction in the data plane and the map abstraction in the control plane. Concepts such as centralized versus distributed network control, match–action tables, flow control, and the potential advantages of SDN are discussed, as well as the OpenFlow protocol and the concept of overlay networks. An example of an SDN use case in a live production network is provided (traffic engineering in Google’s inter–data center network). We discuss ...

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