Network software encompasses a broad range of software used for design, implementation, and operation and monitoring of computer networks. Traditional networks were hardware based with software embedded. With the advent of Software – Defined Networking (SDN), software is separated from the hardware thus making it more adaptable to the ever-changing nature of the computer network.
Functions of Network Software
- Helps to set up and install computer networks
- Enables users to have access to network resources in a seamless manner
- Allows administrations to add or remove users from the network
- Helps to define locations of data storage and allows users to access that data
- Helps administrators and security system to protect the network from data breaches, unauthorized access and attacks on a network
- Enables network virtualizations
The Software Defined Networking framework has three layers as depicted in the following diagram −
- APPLICATION LAYER − SDN applications reside in the Application Layer. The applications convey their needs for resources and services to the control layer through APIs.
- CONTROL LAYER − The Network Control Software, bundled into the Network Operating System, lies in this layer. It provides an abstract view of the underlying network infrastructure. It receives the requirements of the SDN applications and relays them to the network components.
- INFRASTRUCTURE LAYER − Also called the Data Plane Layer, this layer contains the actual network components. The network devices reside in this layer that shows their network capabilities through the Control to data-Plane Interface.