& cplSiteName &

Ericsson CTO Bangs SDN Drum

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
10/16/2013
50%
50%

After nearly a year since he first introduced the term "Service Provider Software-Defined Networking," Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson is ready to provide an update on the Swedish vendor's vision of the programmable wide area network (WAN) and what it will mean for OSS platforms.(See Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN and OSS Gets Sexy at ESDN.)

Speaking to Light Reading on the sidelines of the recent GigaOM Structure Europe conference in London, Ewaldsson said Ericsson AB has moved beyond crafting a vision, which was a high-level view about making networks more relevant, and started demonstrating some of the technologies and use cases for Service Provider SDN. (See Service Provider SDN Gets Real.)

"We've demonstrated service chaining and a number of different opportunities with customers that can be unleashed by being able to program the network," he said. What remains to be done, he says, is "to connect into real big clouds with this kind of technology."

That blending of carrier and cloud network functionality is some way off being a reality, however.

"What we try to do with Service Provider SDN is to provide opportunities for the networks inside the cloud… to be connected to the WAN and let the WAN be controlled from applications in the cloud, something that is totally impossible today," he said.

At the heart of Service Provider SDN is software and a major transformation of the OSS layer, which would morph in its role to include control over the network in addition to operations and maintenance.

"It's of course the holy grail for many companies," he said. "Any large player in the cloud space will say that they are the ones building the best controllers and creating the best abstraction and being able to view the resources in the cloud in the best possible way. We're working beyond that… creating a good abstraction of the entire network in terms of the resources that are available in order to start software-controlling the network."

The OSS can evolve to become a control plane for the entire network, he explained.

However, he pointed out how this has been slightly misinterpreted as being a centralized control point. Rather, the OSS software will be distributed across all the elements in the network, such as in radio basestations or routers or in datacenter equipment, he said. The network elements would house software that is part of the OSS system, he explained, while there would also be a more centralized management capability.

"That's different from a datacenter, where someone says 'I'll sell you an SDN controller,' and what happens is a piece of hardware sits somewhere in the datacenter," he said. "That's not the vision that we have of how this will be realized."

Ericsson's Telcordia assets will play an important role in this OSS transformation, said Ewaldsson. "When it comes to the migration of the OSS system into becoming the SDN layer, if you will, we're very happy we were able to acquire a very competent team in Telcordia."

Indeed, Ericsson's existing OSS assets will be the foundation for the vendor's Cloud System, a cloud management and orchestration stack that is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2014, according to Caroline Chappell, a senior analyst at Heavy Reading .

The Swedish vendor, of course, isn't the only telecom equipment vendor with this kind of vision for SDN in carrier networks, notes Chappell. In her new report, "Managing the Virtualized Network: How SDN and NFV Will Change OSS," she puts Ericsson, along with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems Inc., and Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) in the category of "big picture SDN and NFV management vendors." (See SDN & NFV to Shake Up Operator OSS Market, Heavy Reading Finds.)

And Ericsson isn't necessarily leading that vendor pack. "Ericsson is being very cautious about this," says Chappell. "They're saying, 'We've got to get this right.'"

Meanwhile, Ericsson will carry on evangelizing about Service Provider SDN because the vendor sees an opportunity for growth. "We are very optimistic around the potential of the industry to grow," he said. "Our idea of growth is that the networks become more relevant."

— Michelle Donegan, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/16/2013 | 2:18:24 PM
Say what
I am a little unclear whether Ericsson is suggesting that its concept of a next-gen OSS can obviate the need for an SDN controller in an SDN network. If so, it would seem that Ericsson is going in a different direction from the rest of the industry.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
10/16/2013 | 9:59:01 AM
Contrast Ericsson's caution with DT's urgency
It's interesting that the vendor is being cautious while the service provider is saying immediate action is required. A role reversal at the very least. 

Maybe they can meet in the middle on pacing?

Ericsson's ideas about distributed control are certainly interesting. 
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
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
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
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.