Light Reading

Cracking the Transport SDN Challenge

Carol Wilson
6/30/2014
50%
50%

Major carrier-hosted labs are conducting a global transport SDN demo aimed at demonstrating OpenFlow extensions for optical transport, under the auspices of the Optical Internetworking Forum and the Open Network Foundation, which formally announced the long-planned demo Monday.

The two groups, which have many common members, will begin testing in late August and, by October, will announce test participation and some results from the prototype demos. The goal of the joint project is to combine the Open Networking Foundation 's SDN and OpenFlow expertise with the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) 's optical transport knowledge and experience to show how SDN can work at the optical transport layers -- essentially Layer 0 and Layer 1 of the networking stack. (See OIF, ONF Team Up on SDN Demo.)

The belief is that SDN can make optical networks more easily programmed to be responsive to on-demand needs for bandwidth and to expose more information about the network into applications to enable more responsive services.

"The key challenge will be to develop more understanding of what kind of extensions are necessary for OpenFlow in the optical layers," says Lyndon Ong, chair of the optical transport working group in ONF and of the Market Education and Awareness Group for Networking in the OIF.

While there have been experiments with implementations from different parties, he adds, there needs to be an effort to look strictly from the protocol view at what still needs refinement or isn't yet clear in the protocol specification about how to make OpenFlow work in that realm.

"From a higher-level view, we are trying to look at the whole picture of SDN -- the whole model of application control and infrastructure separation and how the boundaries work between them," Ong says. "In the demo we are looking a bit at the northbound interface between application and controller as well, trying to develop a broad view of how SDN would work in a transport network."

The joint project shows the high degree of interest both the carrier and vendor members of the two groups have in solving the practical issues around transport SDN and speeding up the process. OIF and ONF separately have multiple efforts focused on this area.

Ong warns, however, that this is an early step in a long journey.

"It will show implementations of SDN working on real optical switching equipment, in the carrier labs with real activity," he says. "At the same time, there is a fairly long process before things go from the lab to actual deployment in network."

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

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Rayfish
50%
50%
Rayfish,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/2/2014 | 3:59:49 AM
Re: Cooperation pays off
Venders already did, last month Huawei announced that they delivery the first SDN optical network for one of china opeator in south-east part of china, it seems the first commercial launch.
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/30/2014 | 4:07:28 PM
Re: Cooperation pays off
Sterling,

In the context of SDN, you've used the term transport network to refer to the optical network. Now I could be wrong, but it seems to me that "transport" is a relative term: E.g. If Ethernet services are being used to move around IP packets, then isn't the Ethernet service/network itself the transport network. And if, as is typically the case, Ethernet frames/services are being delivered over xWDM channels, in that case the optical network is serving as the transport network. So the point I'm making is that the transport network can be at Layer 2(Ethernet) or at the optical layer. If I'm correct, then the term transport SDN should not be exclusively applied to the optical network.

 

 

 
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
6/30/2014 | 2:48:25 PM
Re: Cooperation pays off
Carol, exactly, these are the types of proof points that will be needed. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/30/2014 | 2:42:10 PM
Re: Cooperation pays off
Sterling,

Might the demos be used to determine which approach makes the most sense?
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
6/30/2014 | 2:39:51 PM
Re: Cooperation pays off
I agree, the OIF and the ONF are a good combination to tackle transport SDN. As we discussed at BTE, one of the big challanges for transport is the analog and proprietary nature of optical transmission - which is something that is not going to change, possibly ever. There seems to be momentum for an intermediary controller that would translate between OpenFlow and the proprietary gear beneath it.

Beyond that though, there also is alot of momentum behind a host of IETF protocols that seem to be eating away at the role of OpenFlow in transport. I think the ONF and OIF have work to do to prove that OpenFlow with extensions is the best solution.

Sterling
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/30/2014 | 1:53:58 PM
Re: Cooperation pays off
I think it does, Dan. There are definite issues that have to be addressed, but this is a significant step in the direction of addressing them. 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
6/30/2014 | 1:52:56 PM
Re: Cooperation pays off
Does this signal more openness to OpenFlow among carriers and their vendors? For a while, many of them have been skeptical, and I got the impression during a couple panels at BTE that might still be the case.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/30/2014 | 10:11:27 AM
Cooperation pays off
So many companies are in both groups -this makes sense on many fronts and could work to speed up the process of bringing SDN to the optical world. 
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (0) comments


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (0) comments


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.