Open Standards and the World of SDN

Posted on November 15th, 2017

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The sheer number of devices in today’s world create a unique challenge in terms of bandwidth. The increase of computers and mobile devices requires a solution that can manage that level of bandwidth efficiently and effectively. Enter software-defined networking.

Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the most innovative technologies designed for network control and automation. As this technology moves forward, so does the need for standards to manage its potential and ensure security.

Backing up just a bit, SDN, as defined by an article from CIO Review means:

SDN technology is a unique approach to computer networking in which a network administrator can leverage a set of software tools to programmatically initialize, control, change and manage network behavior dynamically utilizing the open interfaces in the network. With an SDN application, network administrators can improve and change the methods in which network devices such as Routers, Switches and other components handle data packets. The application provides complete control of the network policies and rules with a centralized control panel.

The general consensus is that implementing SDN using open standards, or vendor neutral standards, allow those applications to work to seamlessly with and simplify the network design. In addition, the device is “independent on multiple, vendor-specific device and protocols.”

While SDN has immense potential, there are still challenges to overcome to survive in the modern cyber environment. To meet those challenges, a user-driven organization was developed known as the Open Network Foundation. The organization “promotes implementation of SDN through open standards where such standards are important for the networking industry to move ahead.”

One of the major initiatives of the group is to develop “various open standards, as well as vendor-neutral standards, for the communications interface defined between the control and forwarding layers of an SDN architecture.”

As more and more technological innovations develop to help navigate the complex world of the Internet and connected devices, the need for open standards to encourage that development in an appropriate way becomes clearer.

Belief in the necessity of open standards, and the mission of organizations like OpenStand, means a lot to those working daily to raise awareness about the need for open standards. You can advocate for open standards, as well, by joining our growing community of OpenStand Advocates. Also, check out our very own work surrounding 5G standards here.

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