Ery Punta Hendraswara is Assistant Vice President of Business Innovation at Telkom Indonesia. In advance of SDN World, Ery shared with us his thoughts on the growth of network virtualisation and SDN within the industry.
“I believe that SDN is opening a new journey for innovation in the network application area for legacy vendors and also opening opportunities for new startups to enter the green field, creating another landscape in an existing industry that is already crowded. It is very important to make the industry grow by enabling opportunities for creating new innovation, from product to services, that can be grown over the SDN.
“In the services area, which is a key area for operators of course, a more flexible, easier-to-manage and cost-effective solution for the end customer would bring the advantage of enabling an operator to see SDN as a great investment. Several key things, however, need to happen for SDN to become widely accepted and held in higher esteem by operators:
- 1. SDN standardisation – we currently have OpenFlow and proprietary solutions in SDN implementation; there should be one common standard that can be compatible and support interoperability
- 2. High security and reliability
- 3. Easy migration from existing infrastructure, especially for the legacy operator.
“Lot of operators still think that SDN remains far off on the horizon and that it will require a lot of R&D effort to be implemented. So making a quick win, such as a pilot of SDN in the Data Centre, should be one of the target areas to focus on.”
Why is Carrier-Class SDN so vital?
“Carrier-class SDN is crucial if SDN is being implemented in an operator’s core network, as SDN will take the central role as the brain of every element of the network.
“Compared to the traditional network which has autonomous capability, in SDN flow, the packets will be controlled by a master controller and routers or switches. It doesn’t have autonomy, it just does packet forwarding or switching based on the rule from the master. If the central SDN controller is not of a carrier grade with highly reliable capabilities, if will take the network into a very critical situation.
“On the other hand, having the ability to view and control the connected network brings more capability to the operator and makes the network much more relevant to the content and applications running on top of it. So having Carrier-Class standard ability in SDN is vital for the operator.”
How quickly do you think SDN and NFV will become a reality for telcos?
“I think SDN and NFV have their own positioning from a telco’s perspective. SDN basically creates the ability to have dynamic and flexible provisioning control in the network; NFV’s start point is cost-efficiency resulting from the ability of a common industrial server, used to replace proprietary hardware from the legacy vendors.
“SDN needs to have a focus area, to start with, in the telcos that usually already have complex and multi-vendor infrastructure. SDN standards should be there to manage the network element integration into SDN enabled network.
“On the other hand, implementation of NFV should be easier compared to SDN, as long as the belief in the system reliability and the common network operating system (usually based on Open Source) can be accepted. It is much more about the people-transition to manage the new equipment and the new system, which should be available before implementing it. Transforming the people to handle the more open and dynamic environment is always be the challenge.”
What do you think will be the best use-case scenarios for SDN and NFV?
“A lot of SDN and NFV use case scenarios can be tried, but making it into reality is the main challenge.”
“Some of the best use case ideas for the SDN and NFV could be:
- Delivering full end-to-end cloud (compute, storage and network on demand)
- Content Delivery network (CDN) implementation using NFV
- Multi-site cloud data centre virtualisation (e.g a multinational company needs to deploy a local data centre in one country, while they still have their main data centre in their Headquarters)
- Creating full experience streaming services.”
How does Telkom Indonesia intend to use SDN and NFV in coming years?
“Along with our cloud and data centre strategies, we’re still consider SDN and NFV as one of the future technologies that could be adopted.
“This is still quite far off on the horizon in our plan. Efforts in research and development are being made and our target is to be able to have more innovation in network application space which will strengthen our core business.”
Ery will be talking in more detail about his ideas for SDN and NFV at SDN World in Barcelona on 11-13 June 2013.