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. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment