An open standard that enables software-defined networking
THOMAS A. LIMONCELLI
Computer networks have historically evolved box by box, with individual network elements occupying specific ecological niches as routers, switches, load balancers, NATs (network address translations), or firewalls. Software-defined networking proposes to overturn that ecology, turning the network as a whole into a platform and the individual network elements into programmable entities. The apps running on the network platform can optimize traffic flows to take the shortest path, just as the current distributed protocols do, but they can also optimize the network to maximize link utilization, create different reachability domains for different users, or make device mobility seamless.