& cplSiteName &

How Do You Get to SDN From Here?

Carol Wilson
2/12/2014
50%
50%

The Open Networking Foundation is taking on one of the trickier aspects of the move to virtualization, publishing a document that details migration strategies for the move to software-defined networking (SDN) in campus, service provider edge, and wide-area networks. (See ONF Offers Guidance On SDN Migration.)

Developed by the Open Networking Foundation Migration Working Group and published Tuesday, the aptly titled "Migration Use Cases and Methods" draws heavily on the experience of three SDN pioneers: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), NTT Group (NYSE: NTT), and Stanford University , to offer best-practices and lessons learned from real-world deployments.

Among its core recommendations are the need for gap analysis to determine the impact the move to SDN will have on current services, creation of pre- and post-migration checklists to guide assessments of connectivity and service continuity checks, and well-documented back-out procedures that can be used "in case of unexpected results."

"We set this up as a framework for SDN deployment," says Justin Dustzadeh, chief technology officer and vice president of technology strategy at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and chair of the ONF Migration Working Group. The idea was to look closely at what the three SDN deployments had done and to come back with a pragmatic approach that can be used across the industry.

That approach is laid out in stages, Dustzadeh says, beginning with defining the core requirements of a target OpenFlow-based network, continuing with preparation for the rollout, then moving on to laying out the steps of a phased migration and making sure that at each stage there is a rollback mechanism. In the final and fourth stage, the service provider needs to test and verify the SDN-based services, as well as the impact of the move to SDN on its original services.

Different networks, different views
The working group specifically chose three deployments in different parts of the network: Stanford linked two campus buildings, NTT used OpenFlow to connect edge routers to an external control plane, and Google created its much-ballyhooed B4 wide-area network based on SDN. (See NTT Advances SDN and Google: SDN Works for Us.)

The document is the first product of a working group that was launched in April 2013 in response to very real concerns by ONF members that moving to SDN might require the impossible: ditching billions of dollars of investment in current networks.

"A lot of people were saying they didn't want to throw money away, and they needed to know how they get there from here," says Dan Pitt, ONF executive director. Existing working groups weren't directly addressing the migration challenge in a practical way.

Next up for the Migration Working Group is exploration of the specific software tools and metrics needed to support the process of migrating to SDN, with the goal of bringing the IT world's level of automation for software upgrade to the carrier space, says Dustzadeh.

Along the way, his group isn't specifically addressing how carriers build the business case for SDN migration, but it is providing greater information and insight that can be used in that regard, he says.

"We have ongoing studies to also address the cost, performance, and other aspects that might be relevant in the bigger picture of SDN migration," Dustzadeh says. "Today, most operators and CEOs and business decision makers are trying to find out what does it take, what is it going to cost me, and what is the long-term return on investment, not only for simplifying my network but also enabling me to introduce new services more quickly and efficiently."

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/23/2014 | 2:58:01 AM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
My original point was that incumbent providers have to balance their existing investments against deploying new technologies. SDN will have an adoption rate that will depend on its ROI for each particular carrier.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/23/2014 | 2:53:04 AM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
Seven, You make it sound like incumbents couldn't adopt SDN at nearly any reasonable speed due to having too many employees. But if SDN adoption could guarantee a hefty ROI, I'm sure the technical grunts that make up such a small fraction of a 100,000 person organization would all be told to drop whatever else they were doing to deploy SDN technologies ASAP.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/22/2014 | 10:41:36 AM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
You guys talk about this like it is the incumbent's control. Imagine a company with 100,000 people. 10% or less are skilled technically. The rest follow detailed rules set out by those small few. The skilled have to figure out a way to mainstream the technology because the snotty nosed kids who showed up with it surely didn't. Those folks assumed that the most important thing that the Tier 1 carrier could do would be to turn their organization on its head to adopt this new, unproven technology. Rule 1 - Think about the problem from the customer's viewpoint. Seven
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/21/2014 | 9:44:13 PM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
That's usually the trend when it comes to adopting new technology. OLd & big is hard to make "new" things happen. When you're lean & have less to lose, it's easier to try things out. If you fail, it hurts you less (relatively speaking).
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/21/2014 | 7:07:51 PM
Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
It's been said more than a few times that incumbent service providers have little incentive to adopt disruptive/innovative technologies because they rely much more on squeezing every last drop of profit out of their existing infrastructure investments.

A recent interview with wireless pcell CEO, Steve Perlman, reminded me of this:

http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/20/steve-perlman-pcell-is-real-and-it-will-change-the-world-interview/2/

What I've learned the hard way is incumbents, just because of the priorities they have and the triages they have to make, they sometimes would rather sit on a technology that disrupts the established structure, rather than have something deployed. Very often I've found that companies know they can't move quickly to go and take advantage of some new technology because of their internal inertia.

So it wouldn't surprise me that migration to SDN might take some carriers a bit longer to do, especially if their current infrastructure investments are sizable. It's the smaller operators who will be more willing to try out SDN because they have less existing revenue to lose and more operating profitability to gain.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, July 27, 1:00PM EDT
The Changing Face of the Data Center World
Rodney M. Elder, Senior Solutions Architect, Equinix
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
in association with:
From The Founder
The more things change, the more they stay the same for Juniper's next-gen comms solutions, and that's a good thing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (0) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T Launches Network Functions on Demand

7|17|16   |   05:26   |   (0) comments


Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management & Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, discusses the operator's launch of its Network Functions on Demand service.
LRTV Interviews
Enterprise Pitch for Ciscosson

7|14|16   |   04:43   |   (0) comments


After seven months of near silence, Cisco and Ericsson executives publicly discussed details on their extensive partnership. Among the tidbits shared by Martin Zander, VP, group strategy programs, Ericsson, and Doug Webster, VP service provider marketing, Cisco: The partnership was initially launched to serve the service provider market, but is already gaining ...
Wagner’s Ring
Cisco Faces Up to Hypercloud Threat

7|13|16   |   02:42   |   (0) comments


Facebook, Amazon and Google mostly don't buy branded technology for their networks – they build their own. That's a threat to Cisco – and its competitors too – which face potentially dwindling demand for their product. Is Cisco up to the challenge? Light Reading went to the annual Cisco Live conference to find out.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Connected Russia

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Alla Shabelnikova of Ovum shares the findings of a white paper outlining the challenges and opportunities of broadband rollout in Russia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Global Video Business

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Roger Feng of Huawei shares insights on the future of video business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS World Tour Moscow Highlights

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016 at Moscow, Huawei showcases its outstanding progress in video technology.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
September 27, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
SoftBank Muscles In on ARM in $32B Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/18/2016
Ericsson 'Doubles' Savings Goal as Sales Slump
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2016
Kevin Lo's Move to Facebook: Sign of Things to Come?
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 7/20/2016
Is Dish Going Down the Drain?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/21/2016
Facebook Gets Its Drone On
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/22/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.