More and more of the networking that is done in the datacenter is performed on software-defined networking whiteboxes rather than on proprietary black box machinery that was controlled by one supplier. Breaking the hardware free of the software lets both evolve independently, and also allows network devices to be tuned to do just the jobs that are necessary and no more.
SDN succeeds by separating the control and data planes, employing a software-based, centralized control plane to direct networking hardware data plane and ensure efficient management of the entire network. The centralized control plane software makes it easy to provision, manage and update many physical and virtual switches, instead of embedding a controller in every switch.
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