In traditional networks, the routers in the core of the network are

 In traditional networks, the routers in the core of the network are responsible for two actions: making routing decisions and forwarding packets. The routing algorithms form a distributed consensus of what the shortest path is to any particular IP address (or range of addresses). The output of the routing algorithm populates a forwarding table. This table is used by the forwarding action, which matches the destination IP address from each packet to determine the outbound link for the packet. Software Defined Networks create a programmable interface between these functions and extend the forwarding table to a flow table. In doing so, SDN networks become much more flexible and offer opportunities for research and more efficient traffic engineering. This relatively new field has created widespread network benefits and been adopted in data centers and internet service provider networks. This project will examine the growth and opportunities of SDN. Students will read the original OpenFlow paper to see the ways in which network research have benefitted from SDN. Followon papers from Google demonstrate the usage in data centers and the wide area network 

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