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SDN (Software Defined Networks) – Next Big Milestone in Networking

By October 14, 2017 February 27th, 2020 No Comments

SDN is Software Defined Networking devised to help cloud and network engineers and administrators to quickly adapt to changing business needs via centralized control. SDN includes multiple network technologies designed and drafted to bring about network flexibility and agility. All this is to support server and storage infrastructure. SDN includes designing, building and managing networks in a manner to separate the controls and forwarding so as to facilitate programming for applications and network services.

Underlying statement is that it helps organizations in moving into virtual environment.

Even though SDN aims to simplify administrative efforts, the virtualization angle to it brings in design and integration complexities, plus a diverse approach to networking. All this calls for added and unique skills in networking professionals. This leads to a demand of SDN training and certifications.


There are multiple vendors in the market to offer this certification and training.  Cisco, Brocade and the Open Networking Foundation – are just a few known names. Let’s have some details about them:

Key providers of SDN Certifications

Cisco SDN Certifications

Cisco is the biggest and the trusted provider of this training and certification. It offers four SDN specialist programs specifically designed for network engineers, designers and network app developers. Best combo is offered by CISCO as it is well known in networking domain. So this certification can be offered in combination with CCNA, CCNP and so on…

  1. Programmability Engineer Specialist: This validates the skills required to install, implement and troubleshoot network infrastructures and most importantly deployment of network applications into programmable environment.
  2. Programmability Design Specialist: This is meant for design specialists who can gather customer requirements, understand and transform it and later design an infrastructure as per the requirements.
  3. Programmability Developer Specialist: It is suitable for developers who work at the network application layer for large infrastructures like data centers, campuses and service providers. For this, candidates should possess knowledge of Cisco One Platform Kit (onePK), Open Daylight Controller (ODL) and application policy infrastructure controllers (APICs).
  4. Business Application Engineer Specialist: It is for those who can design and create business applications in an open network environment. Participants learn to incorporate application programming interfaces (APIs) into applications for network information collection.

Brocade Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Certification

Brocade offers a Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) certification which focuses on Brocade Vyatta vRouter and Brocade Vyatta Virtual ADX (vADX). In this the participants are motivated to take the web-based Brocade Certified vRouter Engineer (BCVRE) course, which gives you knowledge on Brocade Vyatta vRouter installation, configuration and troubleshooting.

Open Networking Foundation (ONF) SDN Certifications

ONF-Certified SDN Professional (OCSP) program is a vendor-neutral certification program for those who are well versed with SDN or even new to it. The program includes two certifications: the ONF-Certified SDN Engineer (OCSE) and the ONF-Certified SDN Associate (OCSA).

The entry-level OCSA is for those who need foundational knowledge of SDN architecture and so as to be able to excel in their jobs related to marketing and sales. The OCSE lays emphasis on foundational knowledge but from an engineer’s point of view.

Why Software Defined Networking

Traditional networks have reached their limits due to Social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing. Storage and computation has derived a lot out of innovations in virtualization and automation, but those benefits are restricted by limitations in the network.

Software-defined networking has the strength to revolutionize data centers by offering a flexible way to control the network so that it can function like the virtualized versions.

Let’s take a deep dive into the Benefits of Software Defined Networking:

  1. Programmability: Networks become easily programmable as the controls get separated from the forwarding functions, which ensure and enable the network to get programmatically configured by automation tools like puppet or chef.
  2. Management Centralization: The networks are logically centralized through SDN which helps to maintain a global view and it appears as one logical switch to applications and policy engines.
  3. Trim down CapEx: SDN helps to reduce the purchase of purpose-built, ASIC-based networking hardware, and instead supports pay-as-you-grow models.
  4. Trim down OpEX: SDN enables algorithmic control makes it easier to design, deploy, manage, and scale networks. The capacity to automate provisioning and orchestration enhances reliability and reduces chances of human error.
  5. Offers Agility and Flexibility: SDN helps organizations in rapid deployment of new services, applications and infrastructure to meet the industry’s changing demands.
  6. Facilitate Innovation: SDN enables organizations to develop new types of applications, services, and business models that can offer better revenue streams to derive more value from the network.

As SDN is new, it will surely take time to take off but once implemented, the benefits are apparent enough. Cloud environments deploying SDM can observe high speed and efficiency. Even it tends to benefit the corporate and Mobile networks.

In the end we can say, that pros and cons can be identified for everything that finds existence in this world, but for SDN, IT has to lay down the rules of the road first.

Anyone who wants to go in for SDN can rest assured that it is surely as step forward in the career. It is because it gives your learning of networks a different dimension and edge which is the need of the hour due to advanced use of virtualization.

Hence don’t think too much. Go ahead to achieve yet another milestone!!!

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