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SDN gets creative…


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

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

Introduction to OpenDaylight

Get acquainted with OpenDaylight the easy way – have a listen to our exclusive interview with Inder Gopal, Vice President of System Networking at IBM, about the foundation of the OpenDaylight project, recorded in Silicon Valley last month.


Vendors unite for OpenDaylight

Innovation has continued apace this month, and at the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara last week, one of the major talking points was a brand new collaborative project formed under the Linux Foundation, entitled OopendaylightpenDaylight.

Already, OpenDaylight’s members comprise many significant SDN vendor players including BigSwitch, Brocade, Citrix, Cisco, IBM, Ericsson, Juniper, Microsoft, Redhat, NEC, VMware, Arista, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Nuage Networks, Plexxi and Plumgrid, who through this project are united in the quest to establish ‘an open, reference framework for programmability and control through an open source SDN solution.’

According to the group themselves, the OpenDaylight framework ‘maintains the flexibility and choice to allow organizations to deploy SDN as they please, yet still mitigates many of the risks of adopting early stage technologies and integrating with existing infrastructure investments.’

On the plus side, this could well help to break down the barriers to entry for SDN adopters, by reducing current concerns over compatibility.

However, OpenDaylight does pose a significant risk to the SDN start-up community; and membership of the group is particularly costly.

Only time will tell as to how what the Telco operator community make of this new initiative. Telcos’ primary interest in SDN and NFV is to save money – hence, many are keen to work with no-name start-ups rather than opting for solutions by expensive traditional vendors.

Yet could progressing forward without the major vendors really be worth the risk? Well, perhaps we are about to find out…

On 11-13 June 2013, telco operators worldwide will be gathering in Barcelona for SDN World, the premier global Telco SDN and NFV event.

This unique conference is a fully global event, endorsed by the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation ISG and supported by a wide range of vendors. Covering OpenDaylight, OpenFlow and many other issues, the three day conference features contributions from over 35 service providers from right across the world, providing a key insight into telco operators’ plans for SDN and NFV, examining how virtualisation across the network might best be achieved and determining the most profitable use cases. One event which is not to be missed!

In the News this month:

Summary of highlights from the Open Networking Summit 2013 

A full overview of OpenDaylight and initial press reaction

Vint Cerf on How to Make SDN as Successful as the Internet

Service Provider SDN Meets Operator Challenges (presentation by Telstra and Ericsson)

Four Networking Start-Ups to Watch

Skydiving Vint Cerf Launches ONS 2013

There has been a lot to distract people this morning at ONS so far. Vint Cerf

Google’s Vint Cerf, posing as Queen Elizabeth II and collected from Buckingham Palace by a James Bond lookalike, flew in for his keynote by helicopter over Silicon Valley, with the CEOs of HP etc. smiling and waving in admiration on his way by, before skydiving down to the Santa Clara Convention Center, against the backdrop of the James Bond theme tune, to begin the day’s events.

It was an impressive display of Google’s self confidence in the SDN arena and the hall was full; though this could also be because the exhibition doesn’t open till 12pm…

In the meantime this morning, SDN World News has been conducting valuable interviews outside the main hall, the first of which was a fascinating talk with ADARA Networks, named one of the major Technologies to Watch in 2013.

ADARA Networks is a global software company in the SDN ADARA logospace. Exhibiting at Booth #306 over the next two days, pop by for a demonstration of their new open source controller called SKY, as well as Polaris, which integrates end user devices into an actively managed SDN architecture, and ADARA Hercules, an industry-first orchestration, choreography and execution platform, providing customers with a single pane of glass manageability for its entire IT infrastructure.

If the growth of ADARA Networks is anything to go by, SDN and NFV have a bright future ahead…

Oracle prepares for mobile SDN

Before the dust settled on its previous acquisition (Acme Packet for $2.1b), Oracle announced this last week that it is acquiring North American vendor Tekelec.

Oracle started in database systems and is a leading player in this field – even in mobile, it is now growing its infrastructure reach and will surely expand its business in mobile networks.

Oracle is no stranger to the mobile market, where it already offers a plethora of products and services for operators. A quick look on its “communication solutions” webpage illustrates that the vendor clearly has grand visions for the mobile market which will now be even bigger with the acquisition of these two purebred telecoms vendors.

Acme Packet

Acme Packet’s main product is Session Border Controllers (SBCs), network elements that are placed at the edge of a network and control, mediate and translate communications to and from outside the network. Given the heterogeneous nacature of current networks (which is not expected to change), SBCs are generally considered a key element for current and future IP networks, especially mobile. As such, Acme Packet’s acquisition is somewhat of a natural fit for Oracle, which is a key player in enterprise communications and now aims to expand its mobile business. Unified communications, Service Delivery Platforms and enterprise communications are overlapping or will benefit from SBC technology and will enhance Oracle’s value proposition to operators and enterprises alike. Acme Packet was also developing Diameter (LTE core network signalling) technology before the acquisition, but Oracle has not even once mentioned Diameter post-acquisition, so it is natural to assume that SBCs are its primary interest.


Tekelec is a established vendor in SS7 and has now ventured in new areas, including policy control, Subscriber Data Management (SDM) and Diameter, where it is a market leader. Through its acquisition, Oracle has now diversified its foothold in many new areas of thetek network, in most cases areas where it had no presence before. However, there is a great deal of cooperation between Oracle’s legacy offerings and Tekelec’s: the latter’s policy control and SDM are a good complement to Oracle’s subscriber databases while Diameter is a wildcard.

Oracle, being an IT vendor, is preparing for the convergence of the IT and telecoms realms. By acquiring Acme Packet and Tekelec, the vendor is preparing for mobile network virtualisation and mobile SDNs. Acme Packet and Tekelec are cutting edge vendors that were offering technologies and infrastructure that was entering the market with LTE or would do so in the short term for advanced communication services over these networks. Their acquisition (and patent holdings) make Oracle a much stronger player in telecoms, perhaps stronger than some established infrastructure providers would like.

The question is whether Oracle will continue to acquire more telecoms vendors and expand its reach towards the edge of the mobile network. If it continues, it will become a major competitor and headache for the likes of Ericsson and Huawei.

Guest article by Dimitris Mavrakis, Principal Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media

SDN & NFV: Creativity In Action

Virtualisation has been the industry buzzword of the month. What became highly evident at Mobile World Congress last month is that between them, SDN and NFV hold the potential to permeate into every aspect of an operator’s network. And if intelligently applied, the benefits can be massive.

dataBut the question is, how can SDN and NFV move across most effectively from theory into reality? What are the timescales for deployment, and which are the most creative use cases currently showing most promise of taking hold within the market?

The articles below demonstrate a huge range of creative possible use cases for SDN and NFV being raised online.

As the SDN industry surges forward faster than ever before, the ideas just keep coming…

In the News:

The Packet Core Looks Ripe for Virtualisation:

How SDN Could Solve the Firewall Migration Challenge:

On SDN and Network Security:

SDN and Network Fabrics:

VMware’s NXS Network Virtualisation Platform:

Dell Looks to Drive SDN Standards:

Transforming Network Architecture

Eiffel TowerSDN World News is very pleased to be here at ‘SDN 2013 – Transforming Network Architecture’ an event taking place in Paris today and tomorrow, 21-22 March 2013. It is great to see such a strong ecosystem here at the event.

During the conference, standardisation organisations such as the ONF and IETF, service providers, researchers, new start ups and traditional equipment vendors alike are joining together in an attempt to determine the many promises of the new SDN concept, and also its potential limitations.

Much discussion here so far this morning has centred around OpenFlow, with many vendors declaring that they are currently using version 1.0-1.1 (Ixia, contastingly, leading the way at 1.3). But just how much time, effort and money should organisations invest in tracking and implementing the OpenFlow standard? Is there a way around it?

Everyone we have met believes the SDN market is the big opportunity for this year as expected. There is a lot of discussion about the full-scale application of Openflow and whether this can really work; and inevitably, Network Functions Virtualisation is proving a large theme of the event.

Other key themes that the conference aims to tackle are as follows:

  • What  are the key architectural choices and burning issues with SDN?
  • Will  SDN drive the era of commodity network hardware and what does it mean for  the carriers?
  • What  is Software Defined Data Center and how will it impact the network hardware?
  • What  are the service strategies of Internet and Cloud providers?
  • What  is the role of overlays and VPNs in SDN and network virtualization?
  • What  is the role of APIs in SDNs? What level of abstraction do these APIs need to  provide?
  • Is  SDN the only solution for automation? Or are there other valid  architectural approaches to achieve the same benefits in terms of agility and  operational efficiencies?
  • Is OpenFlow an integral part of SDN ? Or just one of many possible  choices?
  • What  are the issues with respect to application deployment in the context of SDNs?
  • What kind of intelligence is required from the network?
  • What  kind of management tools are required in the context of SDN?

What are your thoughts on the evolution of SDN and NFV? 

Drop us a line and let us know.

NFV – Network Functions Virtualisation – is the future.

As the ETSI NeETSI NFVtwork Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV) states, telecoms networks contain an increasing variety of proprietary hardware appliances. To launch a new network service often requires yet another appliance and finding the space and power to accommodate these boxes is becoming increasingly difficult, in addition to the complexity of integrating and deploying these appliances in a network.

Moreover, hardware-based appliances rapidly reach end of life: hardware lifecycles are becoming shorter as innovation accelerates, reducing the return on investment of deploying new services and constraining innovation in an increasingly network-centric world.

No wonder that so many people are turning to Virtualisation of Network Functions to reduce operator CAPEX and OPEX, time to market, greater flexibility, openness and better ROI from new services.

At SDN WORLD in Barcelona on 11-13 June 2013, endorsed by ETSI NFV, Network Functions Virtualisation and Carrier-Class SDN will be discussed in more complete detail than any other show to date.

Examining Network Functions Virtualisation and SDN from a strategic perspective, involving a wide variety of speakers, the event aims to establish how they might best be applied in a wide variety of network settings.

Confirmed speakers include:

Caio Bonilha, President and CEO, Telebras, Brazil
Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP and Head of Technology Strategy Office, SK Telecom, S. Korea
Axel Clauberg, Board Member, ONF, and Vice President, IP & Optical, Deutsche Telekom, Germany
Gaurav Desai, Senior Technical Leader / Manager, Google, USA
Shahar Steiff, AVP, Business Operations, PCCW Global, Hong Kong
Diego R. Lopez, Assistant Technical Manager, ETSI NFV and Head of Technology Exploration, Global CTO Unit, Telefonica, Spain
Pieter Veenstra, Architect and Consultant, KPN, The Netherlands
Javier Benitez, Senior Network Architect, Network Strategy & Architecture, Colt, Spain
Andy Reid, Member, ETSI NFV and Chief Network Services Architect, BT, UK
Masaki Fukui, Director of Media Innovation Laboratory, NTT Laboratories, Japan
Imran Malik, Director, Customer Programme Management Office, Du, UAE
Antonio Manzalini, Project Manager, Future Strategies Centre, Telecom Italia, Italy
Ery Punta Hendraswara, IT Solution and Strategic Portfolio, Telkom Indonesia
Pierre Lin, Principal Architect, Cross-Domain & Cloud Applications Architecture, Telstra, Australia
Christos Kolias, Member, ETSI NFV and OpenFlow/SDN Technical Lead, Research Scientist, Network Architecture, Orange, USA
Haim Geron, Senior Deputy Director-General, Israel Ministry of Communications

Visit for further information and to download the full agenda.

Four steps to SDN

Guest Article by James Middleton, Managing Editor of Telecoms.comglobal

With Software Defined Networking (SDN) generating a lot of interest at MWC, there are plenty of approaches jockeying for position.

Networking equipment vendor Juniper Networks recently came out with its own contribution and a four-step approach to implementing the concept.

Juniper comes from the traditional IP networking world, following the transition to IP in the telco space and the company believes there are just four steps in the transition to SDN. These are: extract services; centralise management; centralise controller; and optimise the hardware.

Mike Marcellin, SVP, strategy & marketing at Juniper, told that so far “SDN has focused on the separation of the forwarding and control plane, and while that’s important we need to address the superset of what traditionalists call SDN. The challenges that both operators and enterprises face in terms of what SDN can solve, encompass all four layers.”

Separation of the layers, which some refer to as ‘abstraction’, just means that each layer can innovate independently one layer is not tethered to another, allowing for better centralisation.

“You must centralise what you can and distribute what you must. This is the most efficient way of running network services,” Marcellin said.

Juniper’s product portfolio announcement this week is designed to help operators build the foundation for SDN, with elastic capacity and faster service delivery, while lowering overall capital and operating expenses. The Services Activation Director enables service providers to provision services including multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and Carrier Ethernet for mobile backhaul much more rapidly.

According to Marcellin, the biggest use case for the Services Activation Director will be deployment in mobile backhaul to get users’ sessions from the cell tower to the service part of the network where the operator can identify the user and what they’re doing.

“There is a huge opportunity for centralised management – to manage the network as a single entity,” he said. “Yes you’ll still be managing each individual component, but you can get a top level view of the network. And you must leverage cloud techniques wherever you can: Scalability, elasticity, and usage-based allocation. This gives you better management of resources.”

The central theme of SDN is to use generic processing wherever possible and keep that in a cloud environment where it is virtualised – splitting networking and security services from the underlying hardware by creating the service on virtual machines.

Juniper’s Mobile Control Gateway is now available as a virtualised function running on the JunosV App Engine, providing signalling and control functions to LTE, 3G and 2G radio access networks.

“Deploying services on the operator’s networking gear is still a major challenge. Writing the app to work on the underlying OS of the device is troublesome. But now we can take the native programming language and port it in a few weeks rather than months or a year. You get more rapid services deployment,” Marcellin said.

“Starting with a common network OS makes management much easier too. If you have a service that runs on one part of your portfolio but not another it’s difficult to implement if you have to work in multiple languages. So SDN certainly is a cost saver. But in terms of driving revenues, operators can get faster time to revenue – it’s the same dollar they would get, but it comes months earlier.”