& cplSiteName &

AT&T Has High Hopes for SDN

Ray Le Maistre
11/6/2012
50%
50%

NEW YORK -- Ethernet Expo 2012 -- The introduction of software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities into telco networks has the potential to increase efficiency and innovation across the communications industry ecosystem, but there's a lot of work to be done yet to figure out whether SDN strategies will ultimately pay off for carriers.

That's the key takeaway from a presentation given here Tuesday morning by Margaret Chiosi, executive director, optics and Ethernet development, at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), one of the founders of the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) that was formed recently under the auspices of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) . (See Carriers Collaborate on Network of the Future.)

She said the general concept of a separate data and control plane, which is central to SDN architectures, has been around for some time and that the current hype around the use of more generic physical infrastructure and virtualized applications was now bringing the idea more out into the open. "I'm happy with the marketing hype because now the industry has woken up," she stated.

Now, though, there's plenty to be done. While the Open Networking Foundation has already developed a protocol, OpenFlow, for the interface between the data and control planes that is being widely adopted, there's plenty of other Application Programing Interface (API) work to be done, with the MEF , an industry organization in which Chiosi is very active, turning its attentions to API specifications that will enable cloud services and SDN architectures.

There's also the potential of applications virtualization, but that's not a scenario that can be applied across the board. "I'm not sure every device in the network can be virtualized, though there are a lot of candidates in the wired and wireless worlds," stated the AT&T exec.

As for the commercial off-the-shelf hardware that might be the data bedrock of any software-defined network, Chiosi noted, not surprisingly, that the carriers were keen on deploying more generic hardware, but "the vendors, not so much."

The current model of having dedicated hardware for each application is one that makes it hard for new entrants to enter the market and one that also stifles innovation. "We want [vendors] to focus on the software and be more innovative, enable us to shrink and grow our network requirements as we need them. Currently we have to design our networks for the maximum, the peak load," and that's not efficient, noted the AT&T exec.

But there are plenty of challenges to overcome before SDN architectures can be considered for carrier networks -- multiple applications will need to be able to coexist on a single server, for example -- and the key metric will be simplicity. "There's no point in moving to SDN if it's just as complex as what we have now," she stated.

That could be the toughest task of all.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sultan Bou Hamdan
50%
50%
Sultan Bou Hamdan,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/16/2013 | 7:54:37 PM
re: AT&T Has High Hopes for SDN
I agree with Margaret to the fact that a lot of work to be done on the API but the network readiness for open protocol and the strategic plan to virtualize the applications and services should start from today.
joanengebretson
50%
50%
joanengebretson,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:59 PM
re: AT&T Has High Hopes for SDN


Interesting post. Thanks. It's always good to get the service provider take on new technologies, which are invariably hyped by the vendors.


Did she say anything about what AT&T sees as the most compelling applications for SDN?

From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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 Interviews
Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
AT&T Expects 5G in Late 2018 or Early '19
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.