Engineering Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

2 Day Course

Software-defined Networking (SDN) is a new approach to designing, building and managing networks. It has evolved from original research work done at UC Berkeley and Stanford University. SDN allows network administrators to quickly and easily manage network services from a centralize location without having to manually configure each individual network element (switch/router). This is done through abstraction of lower level functionality.

The basic concept of SDN is to make network control decisions from centralize location. This is done by decoupling and optimizing the system that makes switching/routing decisions and other control function such as signalling (the control plane) from the underlying systems that forwards traffic to the selected destination (the data plane).

SDN requires some mechanisms for the centralized controller (such as Open Daylight or OpenStack Orchestration) to communicate with the distributed data plane. This interface is also called Southbound interface. One such mechanism is OpenFlow.  The Open Networking Foundation was founded to promote SDN and OpenFlow by specifying the OpenFlow Application Programming Interfaces (API) for connecting between Controllers and Software Defined switches/routers. 

SDN environment also utilizes open application programmatic interfaces (APIs) to support the communication between services and applications with their controller (also called Northbound interface). Northbound APIs enable efficient service activation, management and automation.

This advanced course follows on from the basic SDN & NFV course (PWL400). It describes in more detail what Software Defined Networks are, the different emerging flavours of Software Defined Networks, their characteristics and advantages, and how they could be built.

The course also discuss different approaches for virtualization, how they can be used to model and deploy network and service functions and how such functions will be monitored and managed.


When you have completed this course you will be able to:-

  • Describe advanced concepts of Software Defined Networks (SDN)
  • Examine in greater detail SDN architecture and key functions
  • Explore SDN controller platforms such as Open Daylight
  • Review Cloud Computing Platforms such as OpenStack
  • Evaluate Northbound Interfaces such as REST and southbound interface such as OpenFlow and Netconf
  • Review in further detail the architecture and development of the OpenFlow standards
  • Appreciate the problems of management and security in SDN
  • Explore deeper level concepts of Network Virtualization and  Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  • Review the management options for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  •  Appreciate the current technical development of SDN and NFV technologies

Target Audience

Strategic planners, network architects, network managers, systems engineers, service planners and carrier operation staff who are responsible for planning, implementing and deploying networks which may require SDN and/or NFV techniques in the future.

Additional Information

This is a follow on course to PWL400 Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) offering further technical exploration of these emerging technologies and standards. If you are new to SDN & NFV please make PWL400 your starting point.

SDN & NFV currently has varied meanings within the industry and differing adoption strategies are proliferating. To reflect this we can offer a customization service to corporate customers wishing to tailor this series of learning to deliver skills to a wide range of employee roles. Complete blended learning packagers are available that may encompass our online e-learning series, instructor-led classroom technical classes delivered for both onsite and public scheduled formats, and hands-on workshops. Leave an enquiry or talk to us to find out more.

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Evolution of Software Defined Networks (18 topics)

  • Control Plane Functions
  • Distributed Control Planes
  • Centralized Control Plane
  • Management Plane Functions
  • Management Protocols and Applications
  • Southbound Interfaces (SBI)
  • SNMP
  • CMIP
  • Netconf
  • Northbound Interfaces (NBI)
  • SNMP
  • CMIP
  • Netconf/YANG
  • Issues with current network architectures

SDN and NFV Definitions (2 topics)

  • Inspiration: The Ethane Project
  • NFV Definitions

Introduction to SDN and NFV (2 topics)

  • Market Drivers for SDN
  • Market Drivers for NFV

SDN (3 topics)

  • SDN Concepts
  • Management Plane Challenges
  • Network Topology Challenges

SDN Controller Environment (14 topics)

  • SDN Southbound Interfaces
  • OpenFlow
  • OpenFlow Architecture
  • Hybrid OF Switches and Routers
  • OpenFlow Version Evolution
  • OpenFlow Complementary & Alternative Components e.g.,
  • ForCES
  • LISP
  • SDN Computing Platforms (e.g., Beacon, Floodlight, OS HEAT, OnePK)
  • SDN Northbound Interfaces (REST, SOAP)
  • Security considerations
  • Northbound Interfaces
  • Southbound Interfaces
  • SDN Controllers

Virtualization, Network Virtualizations and NFV (5 topics)

  • Why Use Virtualization?
  • Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  • NFV Concepts & Architecture
  • NFV Use Cases
  • Service Function Chaining

Applying SDN to Cloud Computing (17 topics)

  • Architecture of Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Service Models
  • Multi-tier Applications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Computing Definitions
  • Cloud Computing Model (Compute, Store, Networking)
  • Cloud Computing Environment
  • Cloud Computing Platforms Examples
  • OpenStack Architecture
  • CloudStack
  • OpenCloud
  • Cloud Network Infrastructure and Protocols
  • IEEE 802.1 Qbg
  • SDN Deployment Models
  • Cloud Networking Deployment Models
  • SDN Deployment Models

Evaluation and Review (3 topics)

  • Synergies between SDN and NFV
  • Future Integration of SDN and NFV in the Cloud
  • Future Integration of SDN and NFV in Telecom Networks

Delegates should have attended PWL400 Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) or have similar skills and knowledge.