SDN: Software Defined Networks
An Authoritative Review of Network Programmability Technologies
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2013
Pages: 384

Explore the emerging definitions, protocols, and standards for SDN—software-defined, software-driven, programmable networks—with this comprehensive guide. Two senior network engineers show you what’s required for building networks that use software for bi-directional communication between applications and the underlying network infrastructure.

This vendor-agnostic book also presents several SDN use cases, including bandwidth scheduling and manipulation, input traffic and triggered actions, as well as some interesting use cases around big data, data center overlays, and network-function virtualization. Discover how enterprises and service providers alike are pursuing SDN as it continues to evolve.

  • Explore the current state of the OpenFlow model and centralized network control
  • Delve into distributed and central control, including data plane generation
  • Examine the structure and capabilities of commercial and open source controllers
  • Survey the available technologies for network programmability
  • Trace the modern data center from desktop-centric to highly distributed models
  • Discover new ways to connect instances of network-function virtualization and service chaining
  • Get detailed information on constructing and maintaining an SDN network topology
  • Examine an idealized SDN framework for controllers, applications, and ecosystems
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oreillySDN: Software Defined Networks
 
3.8

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

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63%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (4)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (5)
    • Expert (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Designer (5), Developer (5)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Biased opinion

    By SDN developer

    from San Jose CA

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

        What described in the book is biased opinion on SDN.
        However, it might be useful to people who don't know anything about SDN.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        A concise overview of contemporary SDN

        By ajsphila

        from Philadelphia, PA

        About Me Network Engineer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Helpful examples
        • Nerdy
        • Reasonable
        • Unicorns
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Best For Experienced User
        • For Experienced Engineers

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

        SDN can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Tom and Ken do a great job dissecting the state of the art in Software Defined Networks, and remind us that in many ways, we've been here before. As with most things in technology, what's old is new again, and what's modern will soon be obsolete.

        Software Defined Networking is high in hype, and in venture capital, which bring with it sometimes unreasonable expectations – financial, market, technical and otherwise. Breaking the problem set into reasonable, relevant and historical context helps before moving forward. If ultimately the legacy of the SDN movement is a more nimble and flexible operational model for large networks, then that will have been significant progress.

        Recommended for anyone exploring SDN and contemporary data networking.

         
        5.0

        A good Navigator through the hype

        By network expert

        from San Jose, CA

        About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

          It was time for a book like this providing insights into what is what in the sometimes confusing discussion about SDN.

          The authors with a wealth of practical experience as well as with standardization work walk through the different aspects of SDN, provide structure and put things in context and perspective.

          This little grain of realism makes the book so different to many others.

          The book is very useful for those having already a firm networking background but are new to SDN.

           
          5.0

          very informative

          By mjcoca

          from Seattle, WA

          About Me Designer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate

            Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

            I found this book to be very informative, and one that cuts through the fog of SDN. This book is actually on SDN and what it is, versus what it could be. I highly recommend this read to anyone wishing to undertand or deploy SDN technologies.

             
            5.0

            Superb Effort, and a Fabulous Book

            By In_Perspective

            from Athens

            About Me Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Coherent
            • Comprehensive
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate

              Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

              This book is an entirely enjoyable, comprehensive, through treatment of SDN concepts and practices. It covers the most important pieces of SDN technology, from initial conception, to ONF evolution, to where it is today. SDN is a tough topic to nail down – indeed, just defining it has proved challenging for the industry. But Ken and Thomas do a excellent job in bringing these various topics together in a coherent way that presents the reader with all the key fundamentals of SDN as it is today.

              I'd also like to call attention to the first review. I don't know what book this person read, but, based on the sheer invective larded throughout the review, coupled with this persons' knowledge of mid-level Juniper executives, it would appear that said reviewer has a personal vendetta against the author or authors and is looking to disparage them publicly, or, is a founder in an SDN startup that is seeking to capture some revenue and market share from Juniper and wants to discredit the company by discrediting its employees. I don't know the authors, but a review that deeply personal should be taken with a few tons of salt.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent SDN book for network engineers

              By layerfreed

              from London, UK

              About Me Network Architect

              Pros

              • Accurate

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate

                Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

                The book is an excellent introduction to SDN for network engineers and architects.

                I suspect many people are jumping on the bandwagon to produce a book on SDN - given where SDN is in the hype-cycle. But with this book you get to hear from two real experts on networking in general and on software-defined networking in particular.

                It's great that Tom and Ken have a practical networking background as software engineers and network architects rather than a purely academic one, since they are able to show the similarities and differences between existing networking approaches and SDN and since they are able to look at the pros and cons of different SDN controllers and protocols rather than pushing one specific world view.

                I'm only half way through the book so far but am looking forward to the rest of it.

                (5 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Incoherent mess ...

                By Mike, currently in India & enjoying it!

                from Dallas, TX and Bangalore, India

                About Me Core Network Designer, Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

                Pros

                • None

                Cons

                • Difficult to understand
                • Loads Of Incoherent Mess
                • Not comprehensive enough
                • Too many errors

                Best Uses

                • None
                • Your Competitors

                Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

                This book is an incoherent mess of ideas that are never explained. My suggestion: don't buy this book.

                Unlike the previous reviewer, who is clearly a friend of Thomas Nadeau, I don't know the authors of this book, either professionally or personally. But, when someone claims to have the authority to write a book, I expect them to at least have the fundamental knowledge of networking and then at least some knowledge of what they are writing/talking about.

                This book fails on all accounts.

                To start with the book never defines "what is software defined networking." The book just jumps into the whole game without explaining what the game is all about.

                Chapter 2 is an incoherent mess of ideas. People have been building high speed routers since early 1990s, so a lot of the concepts that have been jumbled up in chapter 2 are inexcusable. I have one suggestion to both the authors: if you don't know what you are talking about, don't say it.

                Chapter 3 is about OpenFlow. After reading the first few sections of that chapter I was left scratching my head. Are you kidding me? If you want to know what openflow is, just read the spec because this chapter will confuse the heck out of you. And for the record, OpenFlow is not SDN. It is just a small part of this whole cloud called SDN.

                Chapter 4 is about SDN controllers. Man almighty! By this chapter I was convinced that these authors do not know what they were talking about.

                I can go on and on shredding each of the chapters and the authors' lack of knowledge to pieces but that would achieve nothing.

                What I would say is that these two authors have no clue about what they have written in this book. What makes it worse is that these authors claim they work in the "office of the CTO" at Juniper Networks. Seriously? I would really like to call upon Brad Brooks, Alex Gray, Jon Davidson and Daniel Hua to rethink if these two authors deserve to work in the Juniper team at all, much less in the office of CTO. Also, if a respectable company like Juniper Networks has such people working in the office of CTO, maybe I need to find a new vendor for my core network boxes.

                Conclusion: don't buy this book. There's a lot of free literature, marketing as well as technical, that gives you enough information about SDN.

                If you want the marketing perspective, call up marketing and sales at various companies including Juniper to find out what SDN is all about and how it could help you.

                If you want the technical perspective, read through some of the technical literature on this or watch some of the nice presentations on youtube by big names in networking like Scott Shenker, Nick McKeown, Martin Casado, and others.

                So, if you want to maintain your sanity AVOID THIS BOOK AT ALL COSTS, even if it comes free to you, as in my case where I was asked to find out if this book would help our team in India know anything about SDN.

                (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                If you weren't already confused ...

                By Jack the Ripper

                from San Francisco, CA

                About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Difficult to understand
                  • Not comprehensive enough

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about oreilly SDN: Software Defined Networks:

                    For anyone dabbling in the world of networking over the past few years, SDN has been the biggest circus in town.

                    People who invented the term "SDN" are unable to define what SDN is all about. Is it the separation of control plane and data plane? Is it centralization of the control plane? Is it a completely new networking system/architecture/protocol/what have you? Nobody knows. Even those who came up with that monicker have time and again failed to define it properly. But hey, SDN comes from the ivory tower called Stanford and so we are not to question it or the high-priests who propound it.

                    Unfortunately, today, tech marketing uses that term, SDN, to sell anything and everything under the Sun. If it's a networking box, then it is SDN compliant, whatever that means. :D

                    So, I was a bit excited when I saw a "text book" on the topic by none other than my former colleage, Thomas Nadeau. I have great respect for Tom and really like his pleasant, somber demeanor. I figured a guy as talented as Tom would put together a great explanation of SDN for the rest of us to read and understand. But, this book is definitely not it, at least not yet.

                    If you weren't already confused with all the hoopla surrounding SDN then open up this book, because within the first two chapters you would be soaking wet with an array of concepts that are fired at you from all sides through a non-stop firehose. And even seemingly simple concepts are made to sound confusing. Also, the writing seems to be deliberately contrived to confuse the user rather than impart any real teaching.

                    Considering that there is no real book on SDN yet and the existing literature in academia is filled with garbage, this book could have filled the great VOID in SDN literature, but, unfortunately it fails dramatically.

                    Lastly, the editors at ORA need to wake up and actually start "editing" their authors' works rather than just collecting salaries for sitting around. Bottom line: a lot of the text needs serious editing. Need an example: we will ... refer the reader to other references ... Seriously? I guess in popular writing that is stated as: we will provide further references ...

                    To summarize: this is a below average, rushed attempt at writing a book about the latest fad in networking, but, this rushed attempt fails significantly in too many places. I would say you should wait for the next edition in the hope that you will get a better perspective on SDN. Of course, that would only happen if the SDN fad survives till then.

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