CSE565 - Software Defined Networking (SDN)


Winter 2017

4 credits


Vinayak Naik

Teaching Assistants

Amod Agrawal
Devashish Gosain

Info - Software Defined Networking (SDN), IIIT-Delhi


Traditionally, networking equipments consists of proprietary switching hardware with embedded software. This not only made manageability of networks complex but also stymied innovation. SDN paradigm proposed to change this, primarily by separating networking software into data and control planes. The data plane’s goal is to do switching in distributed hardware equipments. The control plane centrally governs what will be the switching rules at the data plane. As the control plane is separated from the switching hardware, it is easier to change its software, thereby speeding up software development cycle and in turn lowering the barrier for innovation. The separation of planes and centralization of control plane simplifies manageability of networks. In addition to these two benefits, SDN also facilitates network virtualization, which is a key enabler Cloud Computing.


In this course, we will begin by getting familiarized to the aforementioned functions in the traditional networks. We will then learn how SDN changes the way networks will function now. We will look at open source technologies that enable deployment of SDN on real hardware and in simulation. We will see how all of networking functions, e.g. switching, routing, firewall, load balancers, and VPN, are instrumented in the new paradigm. We will explore SDN via lectures from the instructor, assignments, presentations of research papers by students, and a course project.

: The student is able to

  • Use mininet to simulate network
  • Use Controller-switch architecture
  • Execute routing algorithm for SDN
  • Create a firewall in SDN
  • Implement policies at the controller


  • Assignments: 20% 
  • Critique of Papers: 10% 
  • Midterm: 20% 
  • Group Project : 30% 
  • Final : 20%


Computer Networks (CSE232)

Class Timings

W and F 10-11:30 in C12

Office Hours

  • Vinayak M 5:30-6:30 and W 11:30-12:30
  • Amod W 3:00 - 4:00 PM (Please email if you want to meet another time)
  • Devashish TBA


  • SDN : software defined networks by Nadeau, Thomas D., Published by O'Reilly in September 2013
  • Network innovation through openflow and SDN : principles and design by Hu, Fei, Published by CRC Press in February 2014
  • Software defined networks : a comprehensive approach by Goransson, Paul and Black, Chuck, Published by Morgan Kaufmann Publishers in June 2014