This is probably one of the most complete papers on the subject I have seen to date, published 02/06/2014 by by Diego Kreutz, Fernando M. V. Ramos, Paulo Verissimo, Christian Esteve Rothenberg, Siamak Azodolmolky, Steve Uhlig.
So if you’re new to SDN or need an in-depth look, grab yourself a fresh coffee and get started:
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging paradigm that promises to change the state of affairs of current networks, by breaking vertical integration, separating the network’s control logic from the underlying routers and switches, promoting (logical) centralization of network control, and introducing the ability to program the network. The separation of concerns introduced between the definition of network policies, their implementation in switching hardware, and the forwarding of traffic, is key to the desired flexibility: by breaking the network control problem into tractable pieces, SDN makes it easier to create and introduce new abstractions in networking, simplifying network management and facilitating network evolution.
Today, SDN is both a hot research topic and a concept gaining wide acceptance in industry, which justifies the comprehensive survey presented in this paper. This paper starts by introducing the motivation for SDN, explains its main concepts and how it differs from traditional networking. Next, it presents the key building blocks of an SDN infrastructure using a bottom-up, layered approach. It provides an in-depth analysis of the hardware infrastructure, southbound and northbounds APIs, network virtualization layers, network operating systems, network programming languages, and management applications. It also looks at cross-layer problems such as debugging and troubleshooting.
In an effort to anticipate the future evolution of this new paradigm, the main ongoing research efforts and challenges of SDN are discussed. In particular, the design of switches and control platforms — with a focus on aspects such as resiliency, scalability, performance, security and dependability — as well as new opportunities for carrier transport networks and cloud providers. Last but not least, it analyzes the position of SDN as a key enabler of a software-defined environment.
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