Software Defined Networking Migration Best Practices

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Dr. Perigo, Migration into Software-defined Network from the traditional network is a challenging task. Before migrating to SDN there are some considerations should be evaluated. Some of the considerations [1] are:

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  • Evaluation of SDN solutions: To explore the SDN options in the market, the pros and cons must be evaluated for the various solutions.
  • Proof of concepts: The thorough testing of the SDN solution should be done on the small-scale network including the test case scenarios from the production environment. Also, problems like network outages and performance must be evaluated.
  •  SDN awareness to IT staff: The operational team should have hands-on training on SDN solution before migration which includes the design & architecture perspectives. The more skilled employee leads to smoother migration.

In my experience, the best practice to the migration would be a phase-wise migration. This approach includes three phases as:

  • Initial Network: SDN topology with base configuration should be connected to the legacy network.
  • Phase-wise Deployment: The infrastructure will be moved to SDN topology from traditional network in phases which will ensure seamless phase wise deployment
  • Target Network: This phase will have the whole infrastructure moved to SDN network

For successful Phase-wise deployment, All the phases should have pre-planning state and migration state. The pre-migration state [2] should include:

  • The impact on existing services with the help of GAP analysis
  • To verify non-migration issues, the pre and post migration checklists must be created which helps in the narrowing down the issues.
  •  In case of any non-mitigating issues in migration state, revert plan should be kept ready.

The Migration state [2] should include following practices:

  • The hardware firmware should be upgraded to a stable version
  •  The End to end connectivity should be confirmed before initiating migration
  • The services offered should be evaluated pre and post-migration phases.
  • The primary troubleshooting document should be kept ready after analyzing new network topology for smoother troubleshooting.
  • The monitoring tools can be deployed to monitor the traffic and verify network management.

Effective migration from traditional to SDN needs calculated and meticulous planning. After the migration, the target topology should be verified with documented expectations.


  1. B. Shelat, ‘Software Defined Networking Best Practices: Why You Need It and How to Deploy It,’ 2 October 2017. [Online]. Available:
  2. O. N. Foundation, ‘Use Cases and Migration Methods,’ [Online]. Available:
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Software Defined Networking Migration Best Practices. (2021, Dec 29). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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