Book Review: Software Defined Networking with OpenFlow

Book review: Software Defined Networking with OpenFlow (Packt Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84969-872-6 by Siamak Azodolmolky)


A clear book on SDN with the ability to test and experioment using mininet. The subtitle, “Get hands-on with the platforms and development tools used to build OpenFlow network applications” covers the contents fully.

I did like the book, both on the subject as on the way it has been written. Instead of too many words running around the subject, it documents the subject to an extend where anyone with a networking background understands what the purpose and meaning is.

On the other hand, as networking becomes more and more software based, the differences between legacy networking and a SDN network explained by more pictures and text would be more helpful for those new to SDN. As example, northbound and southbound interfaces are mentioned, but not explained in more detail. If you are trying to understand – hence the goal was a tutorial – this needs to be elaborated or – reading on – moved to earlier chapters in the book.

Having the ability to play with an OpenFlow enviroment and downloading the example code makes it simple to understand, for those wanting to “see” an implementation.

I sure wish more books like this exist.


1 Introducing OpenFlow
It describes the efforts to provide the decoupled control and data forwarding in network equipment and the key building blocks of an SDn deployment. (19 pages)

2 Implementing the OpenFlow switch
Creating a reference implementation of an OpenFlow switch in mininet is what this chapter describes. (14 pages)

3 The OpenFlow Controllers
The role of OpenFlow controllers, the interface to the switch and the API for Network Applications is covered in this chapter. Most interesting to read the learning Ethernet switch Net App, based on POX. (15 pages)

4 Setting up the enviroment
More work with the mininet based OpenFlow laboratory in this chapter. The lever of detail is great, however the pace in which new items are given is sometimes too high. I’m not a newbie on OpenFlow and needed to re-read a few pages before I could finish this chapter. (16 pages)

5 “Net App” Development
Sample network applications are described, with the explanation how and why and far more important, the relations of those the previous built environment. (16 pages)

6 Getting a Network Slice
An introduction to the concept of network virtualisation with emphasis on the role of FlowVisor as a tool for the creation of virtual networks ina n OpenFlow based network. (13 pages)

7 OpenFlow in Cloud Computing
The OpenStack project Neutron, as a component in an SDN network to provide for networking as a service is the main subject in this chapter. (10 pages)

8 Open Source Resources
The final chapter describes an overview of important open source projects around SDN/OpenFlow. (18 pages)

Summary and Index close the book.

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