Building upon an Ethernet Fabric, Software Defined Networking or SDN is a major component of the next-generation Network infrastructure. Just as Virtualisation decoupled server applications from the server hardware, SDN decouples network services from the underlying static network infrastructure, creating a dynamic, versatile and more secure network that is responsive to the requirements of the business.
Fabric Connect underpins the Software Defined Network through its redefinition of Ethernet with a single simplified protocol, allowing network configuration to be applied dynamically with automated extension of networks, flows and paths across the infrastructure.
Fabric unshackles the network from the constraints of legacy Ethernet, and solves to offer unprecedented new SDN capabilities from a self-healing, traffic optimised Fabric that scales in a way that traditional Ethernet networks cannot.
Fabric introduces the ‘Automated Core’ – a technology that reduces configuration time and risk by automatically provisioning the network end-to-end, requiring only the configuration of an edge switch port. There is no need to configure every hop in the network from A to B – instead services are only provisioned at the edge, and Layer 2 VLAN or Layer 3 routed connections are spanned automatically between all intermediate devices, within the LAN, over the Fabric SD-WAN, and even into the Data Centre.
The Software Defined layer of the topology brings new roaming and security capabilities to the network. With dynamic, Software Defined on-boarding, the network is invisible, and secure. Devices connecting to the Wired LAN switch port, to the Wireless LAN, or Servers into the vSwitch join a totally secure isolated network – a network that offers no services and goes nowhere.
Only when the Software Defined Network has authenticated the user and matched against permitted device, expected location and approved time of day will their network policy be pushed throughout the Automated Core, extending the approved network VLAN policy down to their switch port; and on disconnection, the configuration is dynamically withdrawn, leaving no trace of the user VLAN on the port, or even on the switch.
Users can move between locations on the LAN or across the WAN, and Servers can move between Data Centres without the need to span all VLAN’s everywhere – open ports are secure, and the live network only extends to where it’s required for only as long as it’s required.