Cambridge, UK | 10 September 2014
Software Defined Networks are one of the hottest research topics over the past three years. The benefits SDN can bring to internet networking - speed, agility, flexibility, improved security, lowered costs - and the potential it has to radically alter the networking landscape make this a cornerstone of networking innovation. Indeed, SDN is one of the three pillars in the virtualisation revolution (compute, storage, and network virtualisation); without SDN, it is not possible to fully exploit the enormous potential of cloud technology.
On the institutional front, there is firm recognition of the key enabling quality of Software Defined Networks. In the US, the National Science Foundation has instituted a specific line of funding for these activities with its CC*IIE (Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering) program.
In the EU, the European Commission has established as a priority in its ‘Future Networks’ funding objective “Internet architectures enabling innovation in network virtualisation, specifically through programmability of network functions and protocols.”
GÉANT has a fundamental role in the evolution of this technology; its OpenFlow facility, deployed over the world-class production infrastructure, is increasingly popular with Europe’s innovators, including the teams from the Open Call projects. Six of these projects focus specifically on SDN research, while others use it to develop new-gen applications and other innovative services.
GÉANT’s own research teams in this area are working on laying the grounds for new capabilities and services, as well as new service models for GÉANT and the NRENs. The areas covered include green networking, multi-domain SDN, SDN-driven security, SDN capabilities to support the Cloud, and various related activities to support the integration of the network with compute and storage resources. In addition, the GÉANT research teams work closely with the Open Call projects.
Read the full article in CONNECT magazine for summaries on four Open Call projects that work on diverse developmental aspects of SDN, or click the links below for more detailed information.
“You really want to have networks that are designed for friction-free science.”
“One of the key drivers was to basically shatter that black box ecosystem and create an environment with smaller, more modular components that people could mix and match; by decoupling the control plane from the data plane you can have intense competition amongst the switch vendors, and competition among the controller vendors, or partnerships; basically, by breaking up these black boxes into smaller subcomponents, it allows a faster innovation cycle.”
Eric Boyd, Internet2
“All together that could mean a world that is fully connected. Seamless networks, merging fixed and mobile. Virtual networks defined by software. Connected devices that talk directly to each other. Constant connectivity for every European, everyone able to stay informed and empowered instantly, anytime, anywhere. Downloading and uploading from their locker in the cloud.”
Neelie Kroes, Future Internet Assembly, Athens, 18 March 2014