BN322 - Software Defined Networking

Credit Points: 15 credit points

Workload: 48 hours

Prerequisite: BN202 Internetworking Technologies

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is an elective unit out of a total of 24 units in the Bachelor of Networking (BNet). This unit addresses the BNet course learning outcomes and complement other courses in a related field by developing students’ specialised knowledge in SDN architecture, design and implementation strategies. For further course information refer to: . This unit is part of the AQF Level 7 (BNet) course.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging paradigm in computer networking that allows a logically centralized software program to control the behaviour of an entire network. Separating a network’s control logic from the underlying physical routers and switches that forward traffic allows network operators to write high-level control programs that specify the behaviour of an entire network, in contrast to conventional networks, where network operators must codify functionality in terms of low-level device configuration.

This unit provides students with the fundamental knowledge of SDN including history and evolution of SDN, SDN architecture, control and data planes, SDN switches and controllers, SDN programming, traffic engineering, security in SDN and the use of SDN in cloud network and data centre. The practical work includes configuration and programming of open flow (OF) switches and SDN controllers. The unit will also introduce to students the current state of the art of software defined wireless network.
This unit will cover the following topics:

  1. History and Evolution of SDN, OF Switch, Control and Data Plane Separation.
  2. Routing Control Platform and 4D.
  3. Controllers (Open Daylight Controller (ODL), Open Network Operating System (ONOS) etc.
  4. Flow visor and NVP.
  5. Data Plane.
  6. SDN Security and use cases.
  7. Verification and Troubleshooting.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Compare the conventional network and SDN paradigm.
  2. Synthesize the flexibility and scalability of using SDN in terms of innovation and network management.
  3. Configure and troubleshoot OF switches, controllers and SDN networks.
  4. Apply security challenges in the SDN paradigm.
  5. Evaluate various emerging SDN applications.


Assessment Task Unit Learning Outcomes Weighting
1. Midterm Test a,b* 10%
2. Assignment 1 c-e* 20%
3. Assignment 2 a-e* 10%
4. Laboratory participation & submission a-e* 10%
5. Final Examination [2 hours] a-e* 50%
TOTALS   100%

*refer to learning outcomes above.

Teaching Method

Lecture: 2 hours
Tutorial/Workshop: 2 hours
Face to Face

Textbook and Reference Materials


  • K. Gray, T. D. Nadeau, SDN: Software Defined Networks, O'Reilly Media, Inc., August 2013.

Reference Reading

  • P. Goransson, C. Black, Software Defined Networks: A Comprehensive Approach, 1st ed. Morgan Kaufmann, 2014.
  • W. Stallings, Foundations of Modern Networking: SDN, NFV, QoE, IoT, and Cloud, 1st ed. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2015.
  • M. K. Weldon, The Future X Network: A Bell Labs Perspective, CRC Press, 2015.

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.