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Software-Defined Networks, Network Virtualisation, Network Management, Disruptive Technology
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) has emerged as a networking paradigm that can remove the limitations of current network infrastructures by separating the control plane from the data forwarding plane. As an immediate result, networks can be managed cost effectively and autonomously through centralising the decision-making capability at the control plane and the programmability of network devices on the data plane. This allows the two planes to evolve independently and open up separate horizontal markets on simplified network devices and programmable controllers. More importantly, it opens up markets for infrastructure providers to provision and offer network resources on-demand to multiple tenants and for service providers to develop and deploy their services on shared infrastructure resources cost-effectively. This paper provides an essential understanding of the SDN concept and architecture. It discusses the important implications of the control/data plane separation on network devices, management and applications beyond the scope of the original SDN. It also discusses two major issues that may help to bring the disruptive technology forward: the intent northbound interface and the cost-effective SDN approaches for the industry.
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