Software-Defined Networking (SDN) provides automated policy-based management of network architecture. The management and administration are centralized by separating the control and data planes. SDN architectures include a controller functioning as a central point of management and automation. The controller is responsible for relaying information downstream to firewalls, routers, switches, and access points. On the contrary, the controller sends information upstream to applications and orchestration frameworks, all while presenting the SDN architecture as a single device.
Datacenters that have an SDN architecture and a PowerScale cluster must have traditional access switches connected to PowerScale nodes, presenting a traditional network architecture to OneFS.
The SDN implementation of each vendor is unique and is critical to understanding the scalability and limitations of a specific architecture. Some of the SDN implementations are based on open standards like OpenFlow, while other vendors use a mix of proprietary and open standards, and others use a completely proprietary implementation. Reviewing the limits of a specific implementation is essential to understanding how to maximize performance. If a PowerScale cluster is configured for use with SDN through a traditional access switch, consider the following information and recommendations: