Chapter 4

How SDN Works


Chapter 4 begins with a detailed explanation of the five fundamental traits of SDN we introduced in Chapter 3. We define the term Open SDN to mean an SDN network based on these five fundamental traits, based on the OpenFlow protocol. We then provide a high-level overview of the operation of an SDN network based on these traits. While this overview is generic, it is motivated by the principles behind OpenFlow. This overview includes definition of the three main components of such an SDN network, their respective roles, and how they interact with one another. These three components are the SDN controller, the SDN devices (switches), and SDN applications. Important OpenFlow terminology such as flow, flow entry, ...

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