Sources of Information on SDNs

IEEE offers technical articles and online courses

8 December 2014

With the launch of the IEEE Software Defined Networks Initiative, resources are being developed to get members up to speed on SDN technology. Here’s what’s available.


A good place to start is the SDN Web portal, which carries news of the latest IEEE activities, research articles, and upcoming conferences and events.


On the Web portal, under the Education tab, is a library of online tutorials and courses. There you can watch a video on, say, how SDNs will shape networking or sit through an introductory tutorial on OpenFlow—the first standard communications interface defined between the control and forwarding layers of the SDN architecture. You can also take an online course taught by professors at Washington University, in St. Louis, and Georgia Tech that explains the ins and outs of SDNs and network functions virtualization.


The IEEE Communications Society ran a special issue in August on SDNs and virtualization trends in its online publication, ComSoc Technology News. The issue examined how the shift to SDNs could reinvent network computing platforms and network architectures. Included in the issue was “Are We Ready for SDN? Implementation Challenges for Software-Defined Networks.”

IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management is to be introduced in March with a special issue on efficient SDN management and network functions virtualization.


The IEEE Xplore Digital Library has several research articles on SDNs. The IBM Journal of Research and Development published “Software-Defined Networking to Support the Software-Defined Environment” in May. It covered several technologies used for SDNs and the benefits they offer to service providers and end users. The article also presents IBM’s vision for the technology, describing how it will work to virtualize the underlying physical network infrastructure and automate resource provisioning.

Other papers include “Softwarization of Future Networks and Services: Programmable Enabled Networks as Next-Generation Software-Defined Networks,” published in the 2013 IEEE SDN for Future Networks and Services conference proceedings. Another paper, “Software-Defined Networking (SDN): A Reference Architecture and Open APIs,” ran in the 2012 International Conference on ICT Convergence proceedings and covered application programming interfaces (APIs) and architecture for open networking environments.


From the Web portal, you can also join the IEEE Software Defined Networks Technical Community, a group that helps promote IEEE’s role in advancing SDN technology by furthering research, organizing conferences, testing application platforms, and more.


The SDN initiative has its own Facebook group where the latest developments can be shared and discussed. To follow the activities of the initiative’s working group, visit its blog. Written by the group’s members, topics include the mind-set and skills required to work in the field, an estimate of how big the market is for SDNs, and how to adapt to an SDN environment. offers videos on the topic, including a video from IEEE Senior Member Roberto Saracco, chair of the Future Directions Committee, who presents his view on the benefits to be gained by switching to SDN technology.

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