What is the difference between a Control Plane and a Data Plane?

Computer NetworkInternetMCA

Let us begin by understanding the concept of a control plane.

Control Plane

The control plane is that element of a network that carries data necessary to create and control the network. It is an element of the theoretical framework used to learn the flow of data packets between network interfaces.

The control plane represents the topology of a network. It is an important concept in network routing technology. One telecom dealer calls it the brains of the router. It is answerable for creating links between routers and for exchanging protocol data.

Three planes are usually recognized in telecommunications such as control, information, and management. In this context, a “plane” is a range of operations. The control plane, which is associated with signalling, is different from the data plane, which provides useful information. The management plane can manage devices and gives administrative traffic. It is treated as a subset of the control plane.

In conventional networks, each of these planes is performed into the firmware of a router. In software-defined networking (SDN), the control and data planes are decoupled, enabling higher adaptability and dynamic control of the network architecture. Both control and data planes can then be handled through software controls.

Data Plane

A data plane is also referred to as a forwarding plane. It is an element of a router that determines an incoming data packet and sends it to the proper output destination on the network. A data packet header includes data about where the packet appears from and where it is required to go, which the data plane uses to direct network traffic.

The data plane creates a table known as a router table. It can retrieve formerly listed IP addresses to which a packet can be shared. Sharing the packet to the right location is known as forwarding.

The table will also include instructions to drop a data packet if it doesn’t meet the needed requirement. These requirements depend on the router’s configuration and what traffic it can allow on the network.

Some routers have a multiple-forwarding capacity, which enables them to process more packets at a time. Some routers upon taking a false or forbidden packet are also configured to transmit a message to the sender alerting them that their request declined.

But few routers have security features that cause a data plane to drop packets without sending some notification. This secures the destination IP address from malicious traffic and maintains the sender from understanding more details about the request than they must.

In software-defined networking (SDN), the data plane is initiated in the software instead of the firmware. The decoupling of the user plane and the control plane enables higher flexibility and dynamic control in state-of-the-art network architectures.

Published on 19-Nov-2021 06:03:15