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SDN blogs: OpenDaylight and SDN protocols; ways to achieve SDN

This week, SDN bloggers explore the different ways to achieve SDN, OpenDaylight and different southbound SDN protocols and make a use case for SDN in schools.

How many ways can you achieve SDN?

Ivan Pepelnjak explores the four ways to achieve SDN on his personal blog. After months of heavy SDN marketing with very little substance, a series of distinct ways to implement SDN have emerged. These strategies include architectures with control-data plane separation and overlay virtual networks. They also involve the use of vendor-specific APIs as well as the use of existing networking protocols in new ways.

Pepelnjak explains each approach, highlighting pros and cons for all.

Check out Pepelnjak's post on the four ways to achieve SDN.

OpenFlow, NETCONF and OpenDaylight configuration

Two southbound SDN protocols are options when using OpenDaylight in the enterprise, and Ethereal Mind blogger Greg Ferro explores which is the better choice for varying scenarios. Ferro first explains the differences between OpenFlow and NETCONF; then he writes how an enterprise data center has three high-level security zones in its network layer. Ferro looks at how OpenFlow would work within a DMZ network layer, writing that this type of network is well-suited for the protocol. NETCONF, on the other hand, could be used for the data center LAN. He ends his post by saying that in the future, it'd be helpful to stop thinking about having only one network. Instead, each network type has different demands and could have its own SDN solution.

Read Ferro's post exploring OpenFlow and NETCONF as southbound SDN protocols for OpenDaylight.

Using Ansible, Python and Twitter for network automation

Networking expert Jason Edelman reviews how he used Ansible and the Twitter API to integrate with Python on his personal blog. Last month, Edelman created an Ansible playbook that pulls interface stats from a Nexus 9000 or any other Nexus device supporting NX-API. The playbook then created a template report for those stats. Then, using Ansible and Python, Edelman made it so the same playbook tweets three times -- when it starts, after data is pulled from the Nexus 9000, and right before it ends.

He links to the steps for Twitter integration and offers tips for those looking at the same playbook he used.

Take a look at Edelman's post on how he used Ansible, Python and Twitter to support network automation.

SDN in the classroom: A use case

Tom Hollingsworth gave a detailed use case of using SDN in schools on his Networking Nerd blog. In his example, Tom Hollingsworth talks about the shift from written testing to online testing. He explains that on test days, multiple steps needed to be taken to keep bandwidth free for students to complete the test in the allotted time.

With SDN, Hollingsworth says you're able to dictate network policy that provisions and optimizes bandwidth specifically for testing applications. The networking team can set the policy on a per-IP basis to make sure it's enforced. Although this could be done without SDN, programmable networks make the processes easier and less disruptive. Hollingsworth writes that at the end of the day, it's important to keep in mind that SDN is a process that can be applied to an existing environment, and for people to see its value, it's important to keep sharing use cases like these.

Read Hollingsworth's post in its entirety regarding SDN in a school setting.

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