Department of Defense
High Performance Computing Modernization Program

The Software-Defined Networking (SDN) knowledge base provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of the many technologies subsumed under the broad topic SDN and collects in one place the lessons learned by many individuals and companies that have deployed SDN or associated software architectures such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The SDN knowledge base also provides supplemental information for those already using SDN or associated software architectures.

A first time visitor to this SDN knowledge base might want to explore the SDN Frequently Asked Questions article.

Updating an existing networking infrastructure to include SDN or associated software architectures, or deploying a new networking infrastructure using SDN or associated software architectures, does not require any Internet Protocol (IP) changes or cause any packet format incompatibilities. As a result, such updates and deployments are already taking place and will continue to occur across the nation and around the world at all organizational levels.

An elaborate decades-long coordination effort across all levels of the world-wide networking community is not necessary (as is the case for the on-going IPv4 to IPv6 transition). An added benefit is that such updated or newly-deployed infrastructure will frequently be able to support Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) as well as SDN.

Some user sites on the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) started updating their existing local networking infrastructure to include SDN architecture in 2012. CenturyLink, Inc. has provided networking infrastructure and services to DREN under the DREN III contract (DoD PKI Required) since 2013, and began offering SDN and NFV services under the contract in January 2017.

To contribute an article to the SDN knowledge base, or to correct/update an existing article, please contact sdn-team [at]