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Software-defined networking(SDN) & The Big Switch

One of the big new crazes in technology is called software defined networking(SDN). What SDN hopes to accomplish will be the modernization of networking hardware along with faster data streaming. SDN will lower the price of hardware while also running more sophisticated software in a system. People in an industry dominated by Cisco Technologies see it as an opportunity to finally stake a claim in the market with new technology, while Cisco could also utilize it to gain more control in the industry if they can develop a system fast enough. Big companies like VMWare and Oracle are acquiring companies focused on SDN, while venture capitalists are investing large sums of money into start-ups like “The Big Switch” to try and develop the product quickly and enter this new market.

  • Software-defined networking (SDN) is an approach to networking in which control is decoupled from hardware and given to a software application called a controller.
  • Current software:  All data goes into a switch which treats all data the exact same way and sends it along the exact same path.
    • Expensive hardware for businesses
    • Requires many different forms of hardware
    • SDN: Network admisintrator, known as controller, gets all data and can distribute it along different paths, being flexble with traffic patterns and not overloading a system
    • Networking hardware is currently a $37 billion dollar business
      • Companies are making investments upfront to save money, including a $1.26 billion dollar acquisition of Nicara, one the first SDN start ups.
      • SDN will let more users on a network and lower costs drastically. 

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