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All About Apps.

Jul 15, 2015
Dan Pitt
Dan Pitt About the author

Dan Pitt addresses the exciting world of SDN applications and their impact on user experience.

ONF hosted its first AppFest last month, and in preparation for that event I dedicated my most recent Light Reading contributed article to discussing the importance of SDN applications and the roles they play in the SDN environment. Below is an excerpt from that piece, which can be read in its entirety here.

When it comes to operator networks, user experience means a lot. The proliferation of mobile devices, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the cloud continue to raise the user experience bar. Keeping up with customer demand and reducing interruptions force operators to focus on implementing automation tools to minimize interruptions in Quality of Service (QoS).

Looking ahead to what is in store for networks and IoT, SDN is a viable solution to manage increased traffic and control QoS. We’ve already seen SDN change the data center network and now it is redefining other types of networks.

As a network architecture, SDN allows for network control to be decoupled from the forwarding plane. It also allows the forwarding plane to be directly programmed by the control plane. Mobile networks are strong candidates for SDN implementation as they already maintain a separation of the control and data planes. With SDN, enterprises and carriers gain vendor-independent control over the entire network from a single logical point, which greatly simplifies network design and operation. SDN allows IT to leverage simplified network design to deploy new services in a matter of hours or days, not weeks or months, and create new services for differentiation. SDN provides a flexible tool to improve network management. But SDN has another role too, and that is with applications.

An SDN application is a software program designed to perform a task in an SDN environment. These applications replace and expand current network functions that are delivered through firmware in the hardware devices of a conventional network. For operators, SDN applications really assist in managing network bandwidth and ultimately improve QoS. With the increase in connected devices, the industry’s interest in the application of OpenFlow-based SDN technologies to wireless and mobile networks has increased significantly since the founding of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) in 2011.

For the full Light Reading article, read “SDN: It’s All About the Apps.” A recap of the ONF AppFest mentioned within this article can be found here, and we’ll keep you updated about the additional AppFest events in the works.

– Dan Pitt, Executive Director

Dan Pitt