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Coming soon – AARNet SDN testbed for researchers

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Software Defined Networking

We’re pleased to report that work on the establishment of the AARNet Software Defined Networking (SDN) testbed is well underway. Openflow-capable switches are currently being installed in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, with the potential to extend this to other sites around Australia in the future.

Researchers at CSIRO, REANNZ (the New Zealand NREN), and a number of Australian universities including UNSW, RMIT, the University of Adelaide, UTS, ANU and Swinburne University of Technology are already deeply engaged with this exciting area of development.

What is Software Defined Networking?

Good question.  At its core, SDN is about abstracting lower level networking functionality (hardware and control) from higher level applications and operating systems.  This abstraction is desirable as it enables smarter application design and better integration across cloud service providers while those applications and service providers remain agnostic to the hardware running the network underneath them.

The other critical thing – the “Software Defined” in SDN – is programmability.  This promises to make networks more dynamic, for example, able to respond to changing conditions such as congestion or link failure.

Key proponents of Software Defined Networking, such as Google with its B4 network, are already making use of these technologies  in their data centres.

We’re aiming to have the AARNet SDN test bed up and running later in 2014. Four Noviflow Noviswitch 1132 switches are currently being prepared for installation, and procedures are being finalised to enable researchers to gain access to the testbed.

More information

To find out more please contact: David.Wilde@aarnet.edu.au


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