Lecture on “Software-Defined Networks”

On April 24th, 2018 Democritus University of Thrace SB IAS Chapter organized a lecture on Software-Defined Networks which was conducted by Prof. Panagiotis Papadimitriou, who is a professor at the Department of Applied Computer Science at the University of Macedonia and IEEE Senior Member.

Software-defined networking (SDN) technology is a novel approach to cloud computing that facilitates network management and enables programmatically efficient network configuration in order to improve network performance and monitoring.

In an SDN the control plane is placed on an external controller which manages a number of switches using specific protocols like OpenFlow. Main characteristics of SDN are the central network management, visibility throughout the network and network abstraction.

Another term which was mentioned during the lecture is FlowVisor, which is a platform that separates Software-Defined Networks and allows to the users manage the network with OpenFlow.

Furthermore, the lecturer talked about OpenFlow protocol, which is an API for the central management of switches with an outside controller. The control layer is transferred from hardware to an outside device, which determines in which way the packages will be transferred. In the switch is included a flow table, where the controller inserts rules in order to forward the packages in the right way.

At the end of the lecture, a demo on OpenFlow was conducted. The professor created an SDN topology using a software for network simulation called Mininet and explained some basic commands someone need to know in order to create a simulation.

– by Meskova Viktoria, DUTh IAS SBC Chair