SDN Learning Resources

SDN Learning Resources

Seeking Information & Knowledge: SDN Learning Resources

The field and practice of SDN is new and constantly evolving. Sometimes the only thing more difficult than validating skills and knowledge is finding information about SDN in the first place! The resources identified on this page are sorted into published books, helpful articles, and links to information, training, and other online educational materials related to networking in general and SDN in particular. 

Please note that ONF does not sell nor is compensated in any manner for recommendations published or otherwise cited on this page. The listed links are to sites outside of ONF’s website.

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This section will be updated on an ongoing basis as new materials become available. If you have suggestions on online resources and/or published materials to be listed here, please send your recommendations to 

Books: SDN & OpenFlow

sdn anatomy of openflow book
Software Defined Networking (SDN): Anatomy of OpenFlow® Volume I
By Doug Marschke, Jeff Doyle, Pete Moyer

Product Details
ISBN 9781483427249
Copyright: Standard Copyright License
Published: April 3, 2015
Language: English
Format: ePub download, paper
Available at: Amazon

Software Defined Networking is revolutionizing the networking world. While the industry transitions to a software-centric architecture, a clear definition of SDN remains murky at best. This book clarifies the current industry confusion about what SDN is, why it’s important, and most importantly the protocols and use cases that define SDN. OpenFlow® (OF) is a critical piece of the SDN puzzle. While SDN solutions exist that do not require OF, it is undeniable that OF helped spur the innovation in SDN. The history of OpenFlow, its current and future status, and the associated use cases will be explained in detail in this book. Lastly, the book attempts to lay out SDN deployments that are real and current today, and apply practicality to the vast world of SDN architectures.


software defined networking w openflow book
Software Defined Networking with OpenFlow
By Siamak Azodolmolky

Product Details
Paperback: 152 Pages
Publisher: Packt Publishing (October 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1849698724
Copyright: Standard Copyright License
Format: paper, Kindle
Available at: Amazon

Starting with an introduction to SDN and OpenFlow, you will learn about the role of each building block, moving onto demonstrations of how SDN/OpenFlow® can be used to provide new services and features, which will change the way that networking works and the innovative business impacts. By the end of this practical guide, you will have an insight into the Software Defined Networking and OpenFlow® fundamentals.

Packed with detail, this book will walk you through the essentials; you will learn about the OpenFlow® protocol, switches, and controllers. Following on from this, you will be taken through a number of practical, hands-on examples on how to use a network emulation platform called OpenFlow® laboratory. You will learn how to develop your innovative network application using the OpenFlow® controller’s API quickly, and test your network application without commissioning any OpenFlow® hardware equipment. You will also be introduced to the concept of Software Defined Networking and the details of OpenFlow’s protocol, along with the building blocks of an OpenFlow® networking deployment. This book will teach you how to setup your OpenFlow/SDN laboratory using state-of-the-art technology and open source offerings.


software defined networks book
Software Defined Networks: A Comprehensive Approach
By Paul Goransson and Chuck Black

Product Details
Paperback: 352 Pages
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (June 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 012416675X
Available at: Amazon

Software Defined Networks discusses the historical networking environment that gave rise to SDN, as well as the latest advances in SDN technology. The book gives you the state of the art knowledge needed for successful deployment of an SDN, including:

  • How to explain to the non-technical business decision makers in your organization the potential benefits, as well as the risks, in shifting parts of a network to the SDN model
  • How to make intelligent decisions about when to integrate SDN technologies in a network
  • How to decide if your organization should be developing its own SDN applications or looking to acquire these from an outside vendor
  • How to accelerate the ability to develop your own SDN application, be it entirely novel or a more efficient approach to a long-standing problem
  • Discusses the evolution of the switch platforms that enable SDN
  • Addresses when to integrate SDN technologies in a network
  • Provides an overview of sample SDN applications relevant to different industries
  • Includes practical examples of how to write SDN applications


network innovation through openflow sdn book
Network Innovation through OpenFlow® and SDN: Principles and Design
By Fei Hu

Product Details
Hardcover: 520 Pages
Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (February 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1466572094
ISBN-13: 978-1466572096
Available at: Amazon

The text is largely a series of scholarly articles written by both academic and corporate practitioners in the field of SDN. Sections of articles are classified into Fundamentals (with chapters devoted to concepts and applications, and the OpenFlow® design cycle), Design (IP source validation, language and programming in SDN/OpenFlow, controller architecture and management, and mobile applications), Quality of Service (covering QoS in multimedia, traffic classification), and finally Advanced Topics (addressing issues and applications in optical networks and security).

Dr. Fei Hu is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alabama (main campus), Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He obtained his PhD at Tongji University (Shanghai, People’s Republic of China) in the field of signal processing (in 1999) and at Clarkson University (New York) in the field of electrical and computer engineering (in 2002). He has published more than 150 journal/conference articles and book chapters.


openflow cookbook book
OpenFlow® Cookbook
By Kingston Smiler

Product Details
Paperback: 300 Pages
Publisher: Packt Publishing – ebooks Account (March 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1783987944
Available at: Amazon

The focus on this book is thoroughly practical, with over 110 recipes to design and develop your own OpenFlow® switch and OpenFlow® controller. It includes step-by-step guidance on how to:

  • Create a full-fledged, flow-based OpenFlow® switch software agent from scratch
  • Develop your own OpenFlow® Controller that can control any OpenFlow® switch available in the market
  • Explore how OpenFlow® works and how it provides control plane and date plane separation
  • Complete, step-by-step guide divided into two separate parts to give a better view of controller and switch development

Books: General Networking Technologies

computer networks open source
Computer Networks: An Open Source Approach
By Ying-Dar Lin, Ren-Hung Hwang, and Fred Baker

Product Details
Series: Connect, Learn, Succeed
Hardcover: 768 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math; 1 edition (January 24, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0073376248
Available at: Amazon

Ying-Dar Lin (an ONF Research Associate), Ren-Hung Hwang, and Fred Baker’s Computer Networks: An Open Source Approach is the first text to implement an open source approach, discussing the network layers, their applications, and the implementation issues. The book features 56 open-source code examples to narrow the gap between domain knowledge and hands-on skills. Students learn by doing and are aided by the book’s extensive pedagogy. Lin/Hwang/Baker’s text is designed for the first course in computer networks for computer science undergraduates or first year graduate students.


patterns in network architecture book
Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals
By John Day

Product Details
Paperback: 429 pages
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (January 6, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0137063385
Available at: Amazon

In Patterns in Network Architecture, networking pioneer John Day takes a unique approach to solving the problem of network architecture. Piercing the fog of history, he bridges the gap between our experience from the original ARPANET and today’s Internet to a new perspective on networking.

Beginning with the seven fundamental, and still unanswered, questions identified during the ARPANET’s development, Patterns in Network Architecture returns to bedrock and traces our experience both good and bad. Along the way, he uncovers overlooked patterns in protocols that simplify design and implementation and resolves the classic conflict between connection and connectionless while retaining the best of both. He finds deep new insights into the core challenges of naming and addressing, along with results from upper-layer architecture. The book then lays the groundwork for how to exploit the result in the design, development, and management as we move beyond the limitations of the Internet.