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Quick glossary: Software-defined networking

Originally Published:
Nov 2017

Managing data traffic on an enterprise network has become more important than ever. Software-defined networking (SDN) offers major advantages over traditional networks, but mastering the terminology can be a challenge. This glossary will help you understand SDNs and the benefits they offer.

From the glossary:

With the ubiquitous adoption of cloud computing, IoT, big data, and mobile devices, the amount of data flowing through a modern enterprise network has increased substantially. Managing the flow of all this data requires systems that are dynamic, agile, and flexible enough to handle the increased load. In many cases, the only sensible way to manage the flow of data through an enterprise is with a software-defined network approach.

The technology behind software-defined networking (SDN) allows IT professionals and network administrators to manage network enterprise behavior dynamically and programmatically via open interfaces. SDN systems replace the static architecture of traditional networks with programmable and scalable control systems that can meet the data flow demands of modern enterprises. SDN removes network control and forwarding functions from the underlying application and network services infrastructure, making the entire system more adaptable to changes in data flow.

SDN systems play an important role in modern enterprise networking, but the associated concepts can be difficult to fully comprehend. This glossary of 22 SDN terms will help you understand what the technology does and why it is so vital to enterprise data flow management.

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