Software-Defined Networking’s vision is to separate the network’s control plane from the data plane and to encourage two layers of equipment: (1) simple, “bare metal” switches throughout the network running OpenFlow/NETCONF and (2) centralized SDN controllers to manage the data path.
The controllers constitute the smart engines that carry a virtually unlimited quantity of Ethernet links to connect the simple switches running along the data path.
The SDN controllers participate in a network that supports OpenFlow and NETCONF capabilities. They also reserve room for high-level applications such as load balancers and firewalls to support WAN optimization and security.
Well, wouldn’t you know it? This special controller looks a lot like an ATCA system that provides the vital high-availability capabilities for critical network functions, a high degree of port density that supports legacy L2/L3 functions as well as a hybrid mode that supports OpenFlow/NETCONF.
Yes, an ATCA switch can be instrumental in the transition toward SDN including OpenFlow and NETCONF standards.