Tutorial: Software Defined Networking for Military Networks

  • Room: Meridian 2
Tuesday, October 30, 2018: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Alexander Hom
Software Engineer
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
William Kasch
Wireless R&D Group Director
Textron Corporation


The military relies heavily on networking technology for tactical edge battlefield communications and cyber warfare operations. Military communications programs of record are tasked with leveraging commercial-offthe-shelf equipment that provides state-of-the-art networking capabilities for the warfighter. Traditionally, networking protocols and feature sets have been driven primarily by vendors who control a vast share of the network equipment market. In this model, network control software is highly proprietary and tightly coupled to specific hardware platforms. Consequently, flexibility in deploying novel networking protocols and features is limited by the vendor product lifecycle. Software defined networking (SDN) breaks this model by decoupling the tight integration between proprietary networking operating systems and the forwarding hardware that handles packets. Open frameworks for SDN development, including OpenFlow, have shown significant promise in advancing the field of computer networking by providing simple, yet powerful abstractions to enable dynamic network management, security, configuration, and adaptation. In this tutorial, we will provide an overview of SDN and its applicability to military networks. We will compare SDN with traditional approaches, catalog some approaches to SDN including OpenFlow, discuss some case studies where SDN has been deployed today, and provide a roadmap for SDN deployment in military networks.


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Approved for 2 CompTIA CEUs: A+, Network+, Cloud+