SDN basics for service providers

Last updated:June 2013

Editor's note

Software-defined networking has caught the eye of service providers. While SDN strategies and use cases are just beginning to emerge, service providers see the potential in using the technology to optimize networks and create revenue-producing services.

Ultimately, service providers are hoping that SDN will enable the long-sought-after goal of application-aware and application-reactive networks. They're also aiming to enable network virtualization for agility and cost savings. To meet those needs, vendors are developing a plethora of SDN products.

However, there's a ways to go before the full potential of SDN will be known.

In this guide to SDN basics and applications for service providers, learn basic SDN and NFV terminology and technology choices, as well as the challenges service providers face when building SDN environments.

1SDN applications for service providers

Although still few and far between, SDN applications have emerged, allowing service providers to streamline services, gain agility and even generate revenue. Read about the ways Google uses OpenFlow, how SDN can improve collaboration and video, and how organizations are interconnecting physical networks and domains using SDN. Additionally, learn how SDN improves security, but how it also poses new concerns.

2What to know about network functions virtualization

Software-defined networking and network functions virtualization are often complementary to one another, but they're not the same. Learn about the basics of NFV and where it intersects with SDN.