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What is a Network Controller?

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  • Last Updated : 07 Jun, 2022
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Network Controller, the linchpin of Software Defined Networking (SDN) management is an expansible server role providing a centralized, programmable point of automation that can manage, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot virtual network infrastructure instead of just performing the manual configuration of network devices and services. It acts as an interface between the business and the network infrastructure.

Network Controller Diagram


Features of Network Controller:

1. It is used to manage the virtual network. Creating and configuring Hyper-V Network Virtualization is possible along with the virtual network adapters on individual VMs and storing and distributing virtual network policies. And when you have this feature, creating virtual networks and subnets, attaching virtual machines (VMs) to these networks, and communication between VMs in the same virtual network becomes easy.

2. It supports Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)-based networks such as Network Virtualization Generic Routing Encapsulation (NVGRE), and Virtual Extensible Local Area Network (VXLAN).

3. The feature of firewall management gives the user access to administer the firewall Access Control rules for the workload VMs present in the data center for both internal and external network traffic. The vSwitch port maintains the firewall rules of workload VMs that gets disseminated across the data center workloads and roams with them.

4. The other feature of Load balance management in the software also plays a vital role in Software Defined Networking. When it comes to assigning the same workload to numerous servers along with high scalability, this feature is used. Load balancing, inbound Network Address Translation (NAT), and outgoing Internet access for workloads connected to standard VLAN networks and virtual networks may all be configured and managed with Software Load Balancer.

5. The feature of Gateway Management solves the purpose of creating, configuring, and managing virtual machines. With Remote Access Service (RAS) Gateway, the user can create, configure, and manage VMs that are part of a gateway pool and it gives access to the user to connect client workloads to the external network. 

6. The connection can also be made between virtual network appliances to virtual networks by the user using the feature of virtual appliance chaining. A variety of network services can be provided using virtual appliances such as advanced firewalling, load balancing, intrusion detection, and prevention. The deployment can be carried out of the virtual appliances that can perform the user-defined routing and port mirroring functions. Between the virtual subnets on the virtual network having user-defined routing, the virtual appliance can be used as a router. There is replication and transferring of the network traffic that comes or leaves the monitored port to a virtual appliance to have an assessment with port mirroring. 

Working of Network Controller:

  • Firstly, the Network Controller should keep on monitoring the state of network devices and services, ensuring that any configuration drift that happens from the planned state is corrected. 
  • The second thing is to automate the configurations and image updates of the device.
  • The next is to observe network operations and find the issues and then check for possible solutions.
  • Providing a platform for another program, such as reporting systems, to be integrated.
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