We are seeing a tremendous innovation in connected applications driven by fast adoption of smart phones and tablets. This innovation is driven by the Internet’s end-to-end architecture where innovation can happen at the end systems (smart phones, servers, etc.) while expecting a simple set of services from the network. What is making this rapid innovation possible is a clear and well-defined set of end-system network programming APIs upon which application software can be built.
Delivery of packets between two end systems with some differentiated treatment options is the typical simple service the network provides. The network can drop or reorder packets. It may or may not honor the differentiated service requested. Indeed, most packets receive the default “best effort” delivery service.
What if an application could program the network just as easily instead of expecting the best effort service? For example, what if an application could tell the network if it wanted a shortest delay or highest bandwidth path? Or, what if an application could make a request to enable communication between a set of users and a set of servers by chaining a set of logical services (e.g. routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers) and the network magically reorganized to do that? Programming the network can open many new doors to applications.
Software Defined Networking (SDN) introduces programmability to the network. As we will see there are a few definitions of SDN, but in all definitions, SDN’s core is a set of northbound APIs that allow an application to reprogram (or to reconfigure) the network.
In this white paper, we show how Packet Design’s unique route and traffic analytics technology is well positioned to make use of and help the emergence of SDN.