SDN & NFV for Network Operators

9 Day Course
Code PWL408

Book Now - 2 Delivery Methods Available:

Classroom Virtual Classroom Private Group - Virtual Self-Paced Online


Software-defined Networking (SDN) is a new approach to designing, building and managing networks. The goal of Network Virtualization (NV) is to simplify, optimize, and enhance the network by creating logical networks that are decoupled from the underlying physical hardware. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) simulates hardware platforms, such as firewall or storage, using software components. This allows the usage of “off the self” computing platforms and therefore cost savings.
The course outlines the key building blocks, interfaces, practical approaches and applicable solutions for SDN, network virtualization and NFV, how these principles, architectures and protocols may be used to deploy, monitor and manage Virtual Machines and Containers to host Virtual Network Functions (VNFs).
We discuss key use cases and Network Transformation strategies for Tier-1 and Tier-2 Operator environment, and architecture considerations.
Finally, the course will provide a 2/3 day workshop utilising a number of the key SDN & NFV components discussed during the week, including: Hypervisors, Network Virtualisation, SDN Controllers; and a variety of south-bound interfaces for Operator environments focusing on NETCONF / YANG, with introductions to other South-bound Interfaces including: OVSDB, OpenFlow, and PCEP.


  • Understand the fundamental building blocks and technology, northbound, southbound, east and west.
  • Investigate the standards ecosystem, and how it is relevant to your or your customers' networks, as we explain the work from SDOs such as ONF, IETF, ETSI NFV ISG, MEF, TM Forum, Open Daylight. Understand why standardization is shaping the future and which are the key alliances you need to build.
  • Explore current uses such as SD-WAN, vCPE, vEPC, load balancers, virtualized Firewalls, BGP routing.
  • Compare and contrast differing vendor solutions from Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, Nokia Networks and more. Who is more Open, who is less Open, why might you choose one approach over another based on your or your customers legacy network and future services you want to deploy.
  • Get detailed information on REST, NETCONF and YANG modelling.
  • Review deep level detail on OpenFlow.
  • Understand hypervisors and the various virtualization approaches in the market.
  • Consider how use cases will change on roadmap towards full-blown SDN.
  • Consolidate your new knowledge with a Hands-On workshop implementing an SDN Controller (POX, but can be swopped for ODL/ONOS) from scratch using Open components.
  • Examine how a Python script populates network elements
  • Perform protocol analysis on the OpenFlow exchanges you have just created!

Target Audience

Network architects, solutions architects, product architects, network engineers, IT Infrastructure engineers, software developers and any other technical roles wishing to gain a solid understanding of the new world!


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Need and Evolution of Software Defined Networks (23 topics)

  • The building blocks of modern networks
  • Data Plane
  • Control Plane
  • Management Plane
  • Distributed Control Plane Architecture and Functions
  • Centralized Control Plane Architecture and Functions
  • Management Plane Architecture and Functions
  • Management protocols and applications
  • Role of Network Management in SDN
  • Network programming protocols (Southbound Interfaces (SBI))
  • Introduction & Core Requirements
  • OpenFlow
  • Northbound Interfaces (NBI)
  • Examples and core requirements (including REST-full Interfaces)
  • Issues with current network architectures
  • Issues with existing OSS and NMS architecture and platforms
  • Issues with existing network device modeling language's
  • Need for Software Defined Networks (SDN)
  • Softwarization adoption and availability of commodity hardware
  • Protocols and Applications
  • Southbound Interfaces (SBI)
  • Northbound Interfaces (NBI)

Industry SDN Definitions (3 topics)

  • SDN Definitions
  • SDN Market Drivers
  • Summary of SDN Principles

Why SDN? (5 topics)

  • SDN Concepts
  • SDN Architecture
  • Pre-SDN Solutions (e.g., PCE)
  • Management Plane Challenges
  • Network Topology Challenges

Introduction to SDN Controller Architecture and Components (23 topics)

  • Event Driven Programming Model
  • SDN Interfaces
  • Network Interfaces
  • OpenFlow
  • OpenFlow History
  • OpenFlow Architecture
  • OpenFlow Messages
  • OF-Config
  • OF Notifications Framework
  • IETF-based SDN technologies
  • Application-Based Network Operations (ABNO)
  • Path Computation Element Protocol
  • BGP-based
  • Interface to the Routing System
  • Service Function Chaining
  • Segment Routing
  • ONF-based SDN technologies
  • OpenFlow & OF-CONFIG
  • Evolving technologies
  • Protocol Oblivious Forwarding & P4
  • Orchestration Interfaces
  • RESTful Interfaces

SDN Controller Platforms (12 topics)

  • SDN Frameworks & Architectures
  • SDN as Network Operating System
  • SDN as a Compiler
  • SDN as a Router
  • SDN Computing Platforms
  • Open Daylight
  • ONOS
  • Contrail
  • Nuage
  • Huawei
  • SDN Controller Design and Deployment Considerations
  • Controllers Scalability and Redundancy

Virtualization and Network Virtualizations (14 topics)

  • Why use virtualization?
  • Resource virtualisation and network virtualization
  • Hypervisors
  • Hypervisor Models
  • Example Hypervisors
  • ZEN
  • LXC (Linux Containers) and OpenVZ (Open Virtuozzo)
  • VMware ESX(i)
  • Network virtualisation
  • Network programming models
  • Overlay virtual networking
  • How d- we deploy using existing virtualisation models?
  • Virtualisation using SDN

Overview of Cloud Computing (8 topics)

  • Architecture of Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Service Models
  • Multi-tier Applications
  • Grid Computing
  • Virtual Servers in Cloud Computing Environment
  • Virtual Server Components
  • Hypervisor Models
  • Hardware Accelerators

Cloud Computing Platforms (14 topics)

  • Virtual Infrastructure Managers
  • OpenStack
  • Cloud Stack
  • VMware
  • SDN & Cloud Computing Platform Integration
  • Cloud Computing Network Infrastructure and Protocols
  • Virtual Switches and Routers
  • Example Virtual Switches: Open vSwitch
  • Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
  • NFV Concepts
  • NFV Architecture
  • Example network virtualization functions
  • Evolved Packet Core (EPC)
  • Service Function Chaining

Introduction to Network Functions Virtualisation (14 topics)

  • NFV Definitions and Market Drivers for NFV
  • NFV Overview
  • MAN- Components & Descriptors
  • NFV-O
  • NFV-M
  • VIM
  • ETSI NFV ISG Models: NFV Use Cases
  • Key Criteria in Selecting NFV components and solutions
  • NFV Architecture and Building Blocks
  • Components
  • Logical Abstractions
  • Virtual Resources
  • E2E Network Services

Using SDN for Network Programmability (14 topics)

  • Understanding the need for network abstraction and programmability
  • Using NETCONF and YANG for operational networks
  • Recent developments of NETCONF
  • Vendor products and Open Source communities
  • Detailed overview of existing YANG projects and communities: IETF, OpenConfig, et al.
  • Engineering YANG models for device and service
  • Writing and/or modifying YANG models
  • Deploying network services using NETCONF and YANG
  • Differences in vendor implementations
  • Examples of NETCONF/YANG deployment platforms
  • Compare data modeling languages: XML, YANG, JSON, YAML, et al.
  • Other Standards-based network programmability technologies
  • BGP-based SDN
  • PCEP-based SDN

Using SDN for Network Automation (12 topics)

  • Use cases and requirements for network automation
  • Resource and capability discovery
  • Fault identification
  • Device configuration
  • Deployment of end-to-end services
  • Tools for network automation
  • Deployment management
  • Chef, Puppet, Ansible, SaltStack, et al.
  • Using SDN and NFV for Virtual Network Functions
  • ETSI NFV Use Cases
  • ETSI Proof of Concept program and examples relevant for Etisalat
  • Summary of existing operator deployments

Data Center Design using SDN & NFV (28 topics)

  • Leaf and Spine Architectures
  • Issues of traditional 3-tier data center architectures
  • Flatting the data center network
  • Leaf-Spine (or Clos) architectures
  • Multi-stage leaf-and-spine fabrics
  • Leaf-and-spine design process
  • Design and Deployment considerations
  • Layer-2 considerations
  • Layer-3 considerations
  • Non-redundant and redundant designs
  • Mixed Layer-2 and Layer-3 designs
  • Routing protocol selection
  • BGP and OSPF design and implementation details
  • Core (leaf-to-spine) link addressing and unnumbered interfaces
  • Independent management, control and data plane
  • Multi-chassis Link Aggregation (MLAG) and large-scale bridging solutions
  • Vendor-based
  • Centralized management and independent control and data planes
  • Control plane, distributed data planes
  • Control plane with offloads
  • Optimal bandwidth utilization;
  • Redundant edge connectivity and Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation (MLAG)
  • Layer 2 and Layer 3 multi-pathing
  • Layer-3 forwarding
  • Computing resources
  • Network infrastructure
  • Virtualization awareness
  • Programmability, automated provisioning and management

Role of Standards and Open Source Organisations for SDN & NFV (6 topics)

  • Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) defining SDN & NFV
  • ETSI, IETF, ONF, MEF, et al.
  • Open Source community efforts for SDN & NFV
  • Platforms, tools and distributions
  • NETCONF Open Source
  • Tail-f ConfD

SDN and NFV Deployment Models (13 topics)

  • SDN Deployment Models
  • Cloud Computing and Networking Deployment Models
  • Summary of Possible Future SDN Deployment Models
  • Deployment architectures
  • Centralised
  • Distributed
  • Hybrid
  • Resource descriptors for SDN & NFV
  • Management and Orchestration descriptors
  • Provisioning and management of end-to-end services
  • Open Source platforms: OPNFV, Open MAN- and Open Orchestrator
  • Blending SDN and NFV for Service Deployment
  • Leading operator examples

SDN and NFV Operational Considerations (19 topics)

  • Building SDN and NFV platforms
  • What are the major hurdles t- deploying SDN & NFV for customer services?
  • SDN Controller considerations
  • Design and architecture
  • Maturity of NFV technologies and hurdles for real deployments
  • Key Open Source activities
  • Operator findings and conclusions
  • Integration challenges of SDN & NFV in operator networks
  • Lessons learnt and example use cases
  • Implementing Network Intent and Policy for services
  • Simplified Use Policy Abstraction (SUPA)
  • Event Condition Action (ECA)
  • Group Based Policy (GBP)
  • Open issues of managing SDN & NFV
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Network telemetry
  • Backwards compatibility
  • Organisation Integration and skills required

SDN and NFV Hands On Workshop - Basic (9 topics)

  • Hypervisor and Virtual Machine lab creation
  • Create a Virtual Machines
  • Creating emulated networks
  • OpenFlow
  • Open vSwitch
  • IP Routing
  • Creating and using SDN technologies
  • Manual configuration of flow-based SDN
  • Running and using an SDN Controller Platform

SDN and NFV Hands On Workshop - Advanced (9 topics)

  • Using NETCONF and YANG to manage devices
  • Creating YANG data models for Virtual Network Functions
  • Using Tail-f ConfD with NETCONF and YANG
  • Setting up the ConfD environment
  • Running ConfD for device capability discovery, configuration, rollbacks and modifications using NETCONF and YANG
  • Hands-on OpenDaylight
  • Setting up OpenDaylight
  • Running OpenDaylight for emulated networks
  • Configuring OpenFlow devices using OpenDaylight


The course assumes the audience has solid WAN engineering skills. There is a free pre course test that can be used to assess these. If the test is not successful we can provide some pre course online modules on Layer 1, Layer 2 and Layer 3 that will provide some basic coverage.

Scheduled Dates

Please select from the dates below to make an enquiry or booking.


Different pricing structures are available including special offers. These include early bird, late availability, multi-place, corporate volume and self-funding rates. Please arrange a discussion with a training advisor to discover your most cost effective option.

Code Location Duration Price May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Later scheduled dates may be available for this course.

What Our Customers Say

The training was delivered with a high level of expertise and excellence. Instructor was highly knowledgeable.”

Technical Trainer, Aviat Networks

Overall the course was really good, the trainer really understood the material and was very approachable.”

Customer Training Manager, Aviat Networks

Excellent course, informative and well-paced.”

CSE, Cisco

Course was very well outlined. Topics were great and bridged many gaps.”

System Engineer, Cable & Wireless

An excellent intro to video encoding & MPEG transport streams - I would definitely recommend it.”

Broadcast Engineer, Cisco

Definitely an excellent intro. Left me interested in learning more.”

Broadcast Engineer, Eircom

Excellent training course with real examples and practical classroom demonstrations.”

Transport Designer, Orange

Instructor knowledge and experience was excellent.”

Solutions Engineer, Akamai

Excellent course, very clear and well organised. Course content delivery was very good.”

Assistant Engineer, Dhiraagu

Very informative and appropriate.”

Network Support Technician, BT

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