SDN Controller Taxonomy « ipSpace.web weblog


Though Gartner declared SDN out of date earlier than plateau of their 2021 Networking Hype Cycle, most vendor entrepreneurs by no means bought the memo. Something that interacts with community gadgets in any manner known as an SDN controller. Let’s attempt to throw some minimal quantity of taxonomy into that mess primarily based on how these controllers work together with community components (bodily or digital).

Centralized management airplane options are what Gartner thought of to be SDN. Other than just a few well-architected area of interest options, the legal guidelines of physics received. Centralized management airplane was at all times a foul concept, and most of the people concerned within the SDN orthodoxy finally realized that after sobering up from a hype-induced journey. Nothing a lot to see right here.

Controllers interacting with the management airplane. Most SD-WAN controllers are on this class. On the very minimal, they need to act as BGP route reflectors: acquire reachability data from the SD-WAN home equipment and distribute it to different home equipment.

Community virtualization controllers are sometimes on this class as properly. A lot of them use a management airplane protocol (usually EVPN) to work together with the skin world… though I wonder if that’s a good suggestion. It’s fascinating to see the gradual transfer away from the management airplane interactions in VMware NSX Controller – because the product is constructed on concepts that got here from one of many early proponents of centralized management airplane, they will need to have hit some fascinating scaling issues to maneuver in that path.

Orchestration techniques. Why would you need to name a system that provisions a service by configuring the community components within the background an SDN controller? Oh, it’s like bridge and change – the advertising wanted a flashy new identify for an previous concept, and SDN was all the fashion once they made the choice.

Even on this section, there are answers that present true abstraction of companies. A primary instance might be Cisco ACI with its endpoint teams and contracts.

Then there are answers provisioning group insurance policies and community companies throughout a spread of community components. For instance, you can configure a VLAN section carried out with VXLAN and EVPN (or LISP) on all edge switches in your cloth, or an SSID throughout a set of wi-fi entry factors. Cisco SD-Entry, Pluribus Unified Cloud Cloth, and Ubiquity UniFi SDN Controller are most likely on this class.

Lastly, you may encounter somebody rebranding a conventional device-focused community administration system into an SDN controller, proving that the advertising shenanigans are certainly limitless.

Have I missed one thing?

Your feedback (ideally together with hyperlinks to documentation) could be most welcome, together with additional examples of merchandise in every class.

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