ALERT

[FREE DEMO] Deploy Your Enterprise Cloud in Minutes

OpenFlow

Definition - What does OpenFlow mean?

OpenFlow is an open communications protocol that acts on Layer 2 of the OSI model and provides access to the forwarding plane of a router or switch over the network. OpenFlow simply allows the path of data packets within the network of switches to be determined by software that is running on at least two routers.

OpenFlow was designed for network traffic management between switches and routers of different models and from different vendors. OpenFlow separates the programming of switches and routers from their hardware so that no hardware configuration needs to be done and all control can be flexibly attained through software. The University of California Berkeley and Stanford University collaborated for six years before OpenFlow finally went public in 2011.

Techopedia explains OpenFlow

There are three major parts involved in this technology:

  • Flow tables, which are installed in the switches themselves
  • A controller, which communicates with the switches through the OpenFlow protocol and sets the policies on traffic flow. It also sets up specific paths through the network or optimizes it for specific attributes like speed, reduced latency or number of hops.
  • OpenFlow protocol, which enables the controller to securely communicate with the switches

OpenFlow was created because vendors sell switches or routers with limited programmability, leading to difficulties in traffic management and engineering, as well as inconsistent traffic flows between networking hardware from different vendors. OpenFlow provides this consistency by taking the control away from hardware and implementing it with software.

Techopedia Deals

Connect with us

Techopedia on Linkedin
Techopedia on Linkedin
Tweat cdn.techopedia.com
"Techopedia" on Twitter


'@Techopedia'
Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

Resources
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.