In computing, the data plane is the part of the software that processes the data requests. By contrast, the control plane is the part of the software that configures and shuts down the data plane.
The conceptual separation of the data plane from the control plane has been done for years. An early example is Unix, where the basic file operations are open, close for the control plane and read, write for the data plane. Another example is from object oriented programming languages that differentiates between class, method(s) and instance methods.
The distinction has proven useful in the networking field where it originated (in networking, the data plane is sometimes referred to as the forwarding plane), as it separates the concerns: the data plane is optimized for speed of processing, and for simplicity and regularity. The control plane is optimized for customizability, handling policies, handling exceptional situations, and in general facilitating and simplifying the data plane processing.
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- "Instance vs. Static vs. Class Methods in Python: The Important Differences". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
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