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SDN gets creative…

innovation

After all the talk and hype around SDN and NFV in recent months, it is great to see the growing number of announcements about various SDN and NFV projects beginning to move into the reality phase for a growing number of telcos.

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of talk online about the potential of virtualizing all parts of the network. So which will be the first bits to be virtualized? And which should be left untouched?

The chances are that you may already have opinions on where SDN and NFV can be of the most benefit long term. But here are a few articles we’ve come across lately which we think make for some interesting reading…

In the News

Developing the SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center)

Virtualizing the Home Gateways to Reduce Energy Power Consumption

Transport SDN: A New Flavour for Software-Defined Networking

SDN at the Network Edge

NFV Group Flocks to Proof-of-Concept Models

Operators Reveal Where They Plan to Deploy SDN and NFV First

10 Things you Shouldn’t Virtualize

Cisco’s Igniting Security Services with SourceFire

OpenDaylight Begins to Mature

Clouding Up the NFV Transition

OpenFlow wins further support from SDN advocates

SDN-300x225Network management and switching specification OpenFlow is being buoyed by industry support, according to the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting Software Defined Networking (SDN).

The group recently stepped up development and implementation of the OpenFlow 1.3 protocol, with a conformance testing event attended by 90 per cent of the group’s members.

A total of 50 network engineers from 20 member companies used a specially designed lab to accomplish an equivalent of two months of quality assurance testing within a week, and resolved features and interoperability issues with different vendors, the organisation claimed.

ONF member companies had the opportunity to test new software features and products that had not yet been tested for interoperability with other vendors’ software and hardware products. OpenFlow versions 1.0, 1.2, and 1.3 were tested in commercial controllers and hardware and virtual switches, verifying implementations of OpenFlow-based SDN that would be commercially applied to service provider, datacentre, and enterprise markets.

OpenFlow 1.3 allows member companies to address complex network behaviour, optimise performance, and leverage a richer set of capabilities as well as extending to functions incorporating IPv6 and MPLS. IPv6 has become the standard in the datacentre, and testing showed the ability to add new resources and functions that make SDN and the OpenFlow protocol more scalable. In addition, the test cases for MPLS showed the movement of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol outside of the datacentre, with successful implementations performed to allow service providers greater control of the network with open and interoperable software.

“SDN is gaining wider acceptance in the service provider community as a transformative network concept, reinforcing the importance of continuing maturation and implementation of the OpenFlow protocol,” said Chris Janz, vice president of market development at Ciena. “In this latest ONF PlugFest, Ciena has collaborated with vendor and operator counter-parts in inter-op testing. After a week of testing, it is clear to us that there has been a significant maturing of the OpenFlow ecosystem,” he said.

Contributed by James Middleton, Managing Editor of telecoms.com

SDN to cause a paradigm shift for telcos, says Telefonica

Diego LopezDiego Lopez is Assistant Technical Manager of ETSI’s Network Funictions Virtualisation ISG and Head of Technology Exploration in the Global CTO Unit of Telefonica, Spain. In advance of SDN World, we caught up with him to ask him about Telefonica’s outlook on SDN and his thoughts on the growth of the industry.

Diego, what is the significance of SDN for telcos?

“My view is that SDN will bring to networking a dramatic change (a “paradigm shift” is the term I’d employ if it had not become a little bit too overused), very similar to what Java meant for applications fifteen years ago. Things are going to change, though very probably not in the exact way we foresee now. And, as you can imagine, if such a dramatic change to networking occurs it will involve practically every network operator, at all levels.”

Why is carrier-class SDN so important?

“Essentially, because we are carriers! 🙂 Seriously speaking, SDN has proved its applicability in data centre environments, highly regular and homogenous not only in the infrastructure itself but also in what relates to the use of a limited set of protocols, reasonably controlled application usage patterns, and a highly centralised control and supervised operation.

“Moving SDN into much wider networks implies not only addressing the challenges about extremely high resilience with necessarily decentralised control, but the ability to address the high heterogeneity at all levels that characterises current network infrastructures.”

How quickly do you think SDN and NFV will become a reality?

“It is already happening, and I do think it will bring a snowball effect: the more environments where these techniques are applied the more other environments in which their application will become appealing. It is true that we are at the beginning of the slope, but I think that the interest and commitment of the whole industry (operators and vendors) is clear, compelling use cases have been around for a while, and real-life demonstrations are about to start.”

What do you think will be the best use-case scenarios for SDN and NFV?

“I’d reverse the question: what scenarios are not extraordinarily appealing for SDN and NFV? None I can think of. And the most appealing to me are those related with the possibility of providing powerful abstractions, easing the definition of E2E services over heterogeneous networks in dynamic way. I have sometimes referred to it as finding the equivalent in networking to what SQL was for database technologies.”

How does Telefonica intend to use SDN and NFV in coming years? What difference will it make to your ongoing operations?

“Virtualisation, with SDN and NFV being terms of the general equation, is one of our key strategies for network evolution. It will translate in much more flexible infrastructures, centred on the user, and able to provide a much better experience at lower costs of operation. The phased approach we have in mind, aligned with the pace of infrastructure updates, will help us in making such a deep change much smoother.”

Diego will be detailing Telefonica’s vision in greater detail at SDN World in Barcelona on 11-13 June 2013.

Telco SDN projects and alliances begin…

After all the talk and hype around SDN and NFV over the last six months, it is great to see the growing number of announcements about various SDN and NFV projects finally beginning to move into the reality phase for a growing number of telcos.

NTT is the first service provider in the world to embrace SDN and the OpenFlow communications interface, with NTT Com having launched their SDN-based Enterprise Cloud in June 2012 via data centers in Japan and Hong Kong. With the addition of data centers in Singapore, England, and Virginia and California in the United States, the Enterprise Cloud became available on a global basis in February 2013. This Spring, NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud will include SDN in eight countries and ten locations. Clients have used the self-manageable Enterprise Cloud platform to flexibly extend their own data centers, gaining cost-optimized and secure compute capacity as a result.

Deutsche Telekom has chosen Tail-f Systems to deliver the key software components of its software-defined network in its TeraStream project. TeraStream’s goal is to create an all-IP transformation to cope with exponential traffic growth while streamlining the delivery of network services in real time. With Tail-f’s NCS (Network Control System) TeraStream is able to deliver this new networking model through a network-wide and service-aware unified application programming interface (API).

In the last month, Portugal Telecom and NEC have also announced a partnership agreement to evaluate network virtualization based on Software Defined Network (SDN) technology for datacenters and carrier networks. This agreement enables both companies to test and assess the commercial feasibility and benefits of SDN implementation for carrier datacenters. NEC and PT will deploy NEC’s “PF Series Programmable Flow Switch and Controller” SDN solution and test its capability to overcome economic and operational challenges within traditional architecture. They will also carry out a joint case study for identifying the most beneficial SDN usage in PT’s telecom infrastructure.

You can hear about all these projects and more at SDN World in Barcelona on 11-13 June 2013, the premier global Telco SDN and NFV with contributions from over 30+ prominent service providers worldwide.

Endorsed by the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation ISG, featuring key insights into telco operators’ plans for SDN and NFV, and supported by a wide range of vendors, this is a great place to meet the individuals at the forefront of driving SDN and NFV forward to benefit the full telco community joining in a great three days of discussion and debate.

Hope you can join us!

Best regards,

Georgina Wilczek, Editor, SDN World News

In the News:

Deutsche Telekom selects Tail-f as SDN Provider for their Terastream Project

NEC and Portugal Telecom Partner in Network Virtualisation

An Interview with NTT Communications’ Yukio Ito on SDN Benefits

An Interview with Colt about SDN and NFV Plans

An Exclusive Interview with Inder Gopal from IBM about the OpenDaylight Project