Putting the Spotlight on Software Defined Networks

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FierceTelecom.com 6 5 M ay 2 0 13 M ay 2 0 13 FierceTelecom The rapid transition to SDN in the enterprise campus and data center markets has affected a vendor shake-up in those segments. Yet, while many of the vendors serving those segments are further ahead than some transport vendors, traditionally LAN-focused vendors are starting to chase WAN SDN opportunities, according to Shin Umeda, vice president of Dell' Oro Group. "I would expect the major transport vendors to become the predominant suppliers due to their expertise and installed base of transport equipment," Umeda said. "It is probable that there will be partnerships and alliances between data center vendors and transport vendors to develop solutions." In addition to companies such as Ericsson that are adapting current product portfolios to SDN , several established transport vendors, such as Infinera and others, have already introduced new products and SDN-like capabilities. Talbot, of Current Analysis, also noted that small transport vendors, such as BTI Systems and Cyan, have been "quite aggressive and independent in their approach in this market segment." Regardless of how quickly various service providers move to use SDN in their transport networks, they should not be lacking for motivation to do it eventually, since it satisfies two of their ongoing purposes in life—operation cost reduction and new revenue creation. Umeda believes that carriers will submit transport SDN to rigorous ROI analysis before spending a dime, though he acknowledged that factors such as competition could have powerful influence. Talbot added, "I view the primary reason for transport SDN to be the lowering of the SDN cost threshold while achieving operational expense improvements and potential revenue enhancement. Dare we say network monetization?" Service providers may dare to say it about transport SDN, but Talbot thinks they will not want to approach it as a forklift upgrade. l "The pragmatic approach to transport sDn should not be costly or lengthy." rick talbot, senior analyst for transport anD routing infrastructure at current analysis Network Functions Virtualization creates significant advances and revenue sources for telecom operators. Current telecom infrastructure has disparate network elements such as routers, RAN gear, backhaul equipment, broadband access gear, etc. Managing these elements with a single, unified view is nearly impossible. In addition, there is significant OPEX cost tied to managing these diverse networks and elements. SDN enables the separation of the control plane and the data plane to facilitate centralized management and policy enforcement for the networks. Radisys is implementing an innovative way to facilitate the transition of these network elements into more manageable separate control and data plane entities. Radisys has developed an edge router application that enables operators to implement SDN in a staged manner. This approach first separates the control and data plane for the edge router functionality in the wireless gateway. This separation of the functions within the same hardware is an easier first step, thus enabling operators to have centralized control function in the box, and extend it as needed. When required, the control plane can be separated to be outside the platform. By implementing SDN in this manner, operators can minimize their integration risk as well as leverage their existing Telco infrastructure. This approach can be extended to most of the network elements and enable a more cohesive management approach to reducing the OPEX for the operators Radisys' T-Series Platforms incorporates the staged approach to SDN solutions. Addressing operators' need for efficient, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) network elements that decrease delivery costs and improve performance, the T-Series platform offers a comprehensive answer to the overall technological challenges posed by the shift to the telecom cloud. Radisys' utilization of SDN allows operators the agility to quickly and cost-effectively separate the data planes and control planes within the same platform, lowering their integration risk. This also sets the stage for a seamless transition of the data and control planes into separate platforms, when desired. From an investment perspective, this approach is solid because it allows the fulfillment of current technological needs, while also making room for next-generation developments as movement to the telecom cloud becomes more and more ubiquitous. l With the success of cloud technology in the enterprise realm, the telecom industry is now looking to the cloud to reap the same benefits – economies of scale, cost effectiveness, scalability, lower CAPEX and OPEX. Operators want to embrace cloud technologies in their central offices and network functions to achieve these benefits. However, the telecom cloud is not the same as the IT cloud; the telecom industry's demanding requirements for five-nines availability, scalability, reliability and complex networking must be met, and a supplementary approach is required. In addition, operators want to leverage the significant investment they've already made in their telecom infrastructure. Known as one of the most revolutionary technologies to arrive to the market in recent years, software-defined networking (SDN) transforms the way networks are managed, controlled and used. With its ability to extract telecom networking applications from their hardware, SDN and its resulting enabling the Telecom Cloud with software Defined networking By V E Nk AtA R A M A N P R A s A NN A N A Nd E RIc gR EgOR y sponsored Content

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