How to Solve an Assignment on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Implementation

September 09, 2023
Jennifer D. Moylan
Jennifer D. Moylan
Software Defined Networking
Jennifer D. Moylan is a dedicated SDN educator with a passion for advancing networking technologies through innovative instruction and research. She holds M.Sc. in Networking and Telecommunications, Monash University, Australia

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a groundbreaking approach to designing and managing networks. SDN allows network administrators to manage network services through abstraction of lower-level functionality. This architecture is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable. If you're tasked with an assignment to implement an SDN setup, it can feel overwhelming due to its complexity. However, fear not; this guide will walk you through each aspect of your assignment, aligned with your grading rubrics.

Understanding of SDN Concepts and Architectures

What to Know

Understanding the foundational concepts and architectures of SDN is critical. SDN architectures generally consist of three layers:

  • Application Layer: Where network applications reside, and which interact directly with the control layer to dictate the desired network behavior.
  • Control Layer: This is the core of any SDN network. It consists of the SDN controller, which translates the requirements from the application layer down to the infrastructure layer.
  • Infrastructure Layer: Consists of the networking components, such as switches and routers, that handle packet forwarding based on the policies set by the control layer.
How to Solve an Assignment on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Implementation
How to Approach This in the Assignment

Review Literature: Read research papers, articles, and SDN documentations to understand its architecture, protocols (like OpenFlow), and how it differs from traditional networking.

  • Conceptual Diagrams: Create diagrams to explain the SDN architecture layers, and how data flows through them.
  • Compare and Contrast: Highlight how SDN differs from traditional networking models, and why it’s advantageous.
  • Case Studies: Briefly describe real-world implementations of SDN to show your understanding of its practical applications.

Configuration of SDN Controllers and Switches

What to Know

In SDN, the control plane (SDN Controller) is decoupled from the data plane (Switches). Various SDN controllers exist, such as OpenDaylight, Ryu, and Floodlight. OpenFlow is commonly used as the standard communication interface between the control layer and the infrastructure layer.

How to Approach This in the Assignment

  • Select SDN Controller: Choose an SDN controller and explain why you’ve chosen it for your implementation.
  • Installation & Configuration: Document the step-by-step process of installing and configuring the SDN controller and switches.
  • Interface: Describe how the SDN controller interfaces with the switches via OpenFlow or any other protocol.
  • Scripts and Automation: If possible, provide scripts to automate the configuration process, explaining each script’s functionality.

Implementation of Network Virtualization

What to Know

Network virtualization in SDN allows multiple virtual networks to share the same physical infrastructure. It is highly beneficial for resource optimization and isolation of network traffic.

How to Approach This in the Assignment

  • Design Virtual Networks: Sketch a design of how you’ll implement virtual networks on your SDN architecture.
  • Configuration: Provide steps to configure virtual networks through the SDN controller. Include any code snippets or commands used.
  • Use-cases: Discuss the benefits of network virtualization in your setup. Is it for security isolation, resource optimization, or something else?
  • Technical Constraints: Discuss any limitations and challenges in your network virtualization implementation.

Testing and Validation of SDN Functionality

What to Know

After setting up the network, it’s crucial to test its functionalities to ensure it performs as intended.

How to Approach This in the Assignment

  • Test Cases: List out the test cases that validate the functionality of your SDN setup. This can range from basic connectivity tests to complex policy enforcement tests.
  • Test Execution: Run the tests and document the outcomes, including any debugging if necessary.
  • Validation: Confirm whether your implementation meets the objectives set forth at the beginning of the assignment.

Documentation and Presentation

What to Know

Your documentation should clearly describe your work process, challenges, findings, and results. Presentation skills are equally essential to effectively communicate your work.

How to Approach This in the Assignment

  • Report Writing: Compile your research, implementation steps, and test results into a comprehensive report.
  • Challenges and Learnings: Include a section on challenges you faced during implementation and what you learned from them.
  • Presentation: If the assignment requires a presentation, prepare slides that outline key points from your report.
  • Peer Review: Before submission, it’s a good idea to have someone review your documentation for clarity, correctness, and completeness.
  • Citations and References: Make sure to give credit where credit is due by appropriately citing all your sources.


By adhering to these guidelines that align with your grading rubric, you'll be well-positioned to excel in your SDN Implementation assignment. Remember, the key to a successful assignment is a mix of solid foundational understanding, meticulous implementation, thorough testing, and clear documentation.

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