In Pictures: Software-defined networking explained

Understand how SDN will change everything in 10 easy steps

Planes of operation, continued In networking today, the control plane on each device communicates with the control planes on all other devices in the network using protocols like OSPF or Spanning Tree. As a result, networking is a system of distributed computing in which all of the system elements must be coherent for the network to function as a whole. Although network protocols are well proven, networking remains less than perfect because 1) distributed computing systems are limited by "eventual consistency" (for networks, that means outage during reconvergence), and 2) we’re constrained by poor features like destination-based routing (when source/destination would be better).

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