Light Reading

Ericsson Claims SDN Advantage

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/19/2013
50%
50%

Just how big a role might Ericsson AB play in the software-defined networking (SDN) revolution? You won't have noticed the Swedish vendor making any SDN acquisitions or declaring any SDN spinoffs, and the company says that's because it's already got more critical pieces collected than its rivals. Funny then, that Ericsson has been comparatively less noisy about SDN than, say, Cisco Systems Inc. or, more recently, Juniper Networks Inc. That's changing, as Ericsson has begun claiming its substantial mobile-network presence as an advantage in the development of SDN -- or of whatever more flexible, more dynamically provisioned type of network emerges from the SDN craze. Next week's Mobile World Congress will be the grand soapbox for Ericsson's newfound SDN preaching, and the company has been busily setting the stage. Last week, Ericsson deluged journalists with MWC announcements, which as a whole skewed towards cloud and network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities. Now it's getting more specific. On Monday, the company hosted a further pre-MWC briefing that included a declaration of Ericsson's first SDN product: It will add an OpenFlow 1.3 controller to the SSR 8000 router in the fourth quarter of 2013. It's easy to think of Ericsson as an SDN player, says Brad Casemore, an analyst with IDC. "It's a question of whether they want to productize it," Casemore says. "I know they've been tinkering with it for a long time." Radio days
The important points about SDN and its potential go beyond OpenFlow, covering an end-to-end network view that requires knowledge of the radio network, Ericsson officials argue. That's because a lot of what's being talked about in SDN -- including the ability to quickly provision network services and move network connections -- has already been accomplished, at scale, in the mobile network, says Erik Ekkuden, Ericsson's head of technology strategies. "Yes, we have to change everything in the network, but we do that all the time. If you look at the speed of modernizing mobile networks, if you look at the speed of cloud -- the speed is already there. So if you just take that speed that we are used to every day, we are taking that into the [fixed] network," he says. To put it another way, he says Ericsson is already adept with the mobile network and the cloud -- the two sides that are pushing the need for SDN in service-provider networks. What's needed, then, is a service-provider SDN (the catchphrase Ericsson will be repeating throughout MWC) in between the two. Like a lot of players, Ericsson thinks SDN has to be considered as a network-wide architecture -- with the difference that Ericsson is big in the radio access network. Others "are talking about the need for a holistic view, but they're not using all the parts of the network that are already in place," Ekkuden says. "When you do this from the data center all across the network, [through the] radio domain, transport domain, the IP edge, all the way to the data center, that's when you get the value. The value is not really in the data center," he says. For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading
(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/24/2013 | 6:18:51 PM
re: Ericsson Claims SDN Advantage
-áBjarne, good points. I hadn't heard Ulf's comments specifically, but I would presume Erik's statements are now the more formal position. (Or maybe it's that Erik, based in Silicon Valley, sees the world a little differently from the rest of Ericsson...?)

Anyway, it's pretty clear Ericsson is aware that others have grabbed all the SDN headlines and wants to make a splash of its own.-á I'll find out more on Monday morning at MWC.

I do think Erik has a point about presence in the mobile network, and about the way the mobile network reacts dynamically in ways SDN aspires to. How much that adds up to, we'll have to find out over time -- as you noted, it's going to take a while for product releases, but i'd imagine some of the groundwork could start getting laid this year.-á

(btw - I'd have replied earlier but was technically on vacation and didn't monitor comments at LR.-á Thanks again for the input - good perspective there.)
Bjarne10
50%
50%
Bjarne10,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/20/2013 | 8:08:31 PM
re: Ericsson Claims SDN Advantage
Craig thanks for the article, but as a Nordic service provider, I challenge this 100%! Ericsson thus far has architectural conceptual thinking with nothing implemented! They promised to -á have something live sometime in Q1 2014 at best!. How can they be a leader on something they have not launched or know little about? Their CTO Ulf Edwaldsson has publicly discounted SDN, Virtual EPC and virtualization, claiming nothing will happen for 5 or more years, which contradicts what Erik Ekkuden is claiming. Whom are we supposed to believe? Meanwhile smaller nimble players in the US and here in the EU are running key trials with Tier 1 service providers. If you see the data produced by ABI Research and others benchmarking the key infrastructure providers, Ericsson does not rank at all for innovation in this area, having attended SDN centric events, addressing questions to the Ericsson attendees has not made me feel too comfortable as a client, considering their low level of understanding nor strategy going forward on this area, sorry to be critical but you can-¦t play the "We are Ericsson" card and "We know it all on this area" Giving them the benefit of the doubt and for the sake of our-áScandinavian companies-áit would be nice to be pleasantly surprised next year TBD?. In the mean time the messaging we as customers see and expect from them is futures and pure slide-ware nothing else.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.