Light Reading

Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN

Ray Le Maistre

AMSTERDAM -- Broadband World Forum -- Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CTO Ulf Ewaldsson today called for a hybrid approach to software-defined networking (SDN), dubbed "Service Provider SDN," tailored to the needs of network operators.

Addressing the media and industry analysts here in Amsterdam early Tuesday, Ewaldsson said that the "SDN definition should be extended" to cater for the requirements of telcos.

"SDN is not just about OpenFlow and routers. It's about being able to create an abstraction layer, a control plane, to connect what is happening in networks, data centers and private clouds and tie in OSS/BSS features," especially analytics functionality, "with that control plane. It's also about network exposure. The OTT players are leading the way in service creation and they want access to network functionality, such as IMS [IP Multimedia Subsystem], to make it easier to create new applications." (See OpenFlow Taps the Brakes and OpenFlow Keeps Buzzing.)

So the Ericsson definition of Service Provider SDN is a combination of an abstracted control plane, the exposure of telco network APIs and big data analytics.

This isn't something that Ewaldsson expects to see evolve overnight -- this is a "long-term evolution … more than five years." And that's just as well as there's no talk of any specific products at this point. "When we talk to service providers we get the feeling they want to migrate to this, using their installed base of routers and other network assets but with a new network architecture. That is one of the holy grails -- to find the new architecture, one that also incorporates media and CDNs [content delivery networks]."

The big question here, though, is whether anyone will be accepting of any new definition of SDN when most people are still grappling with what the "old" definition is all about. So does Ericsson intend to engage with industry forums such as the Open Networking Foundation as it seeks to redefine SDN for telcos? Ewaldsson is less sure on this, saying only that the vendor is engaged with the relevant industry bodies.

What he is convinced about is general support from the major carriers for an industry effort to combine SDN functionality with open API strategies. "The big U.S. carriers are doing this. AT&T and Verizon are opening up their networks -- they want their network to be a platform" for new service development and they're looking for help from the vendors to make this happen, said the CTO.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:04 PM
re: Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN


So SDN is a just a new name for whatever of what every vendor has been trying to sell for the past decade?



User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:04 PM
re: Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN

Interesting post.

I'm hearing that carriers will look to monetize SDN by offering end users the ability to obtain a certain amount of bandwidth for a certain time to support a specific app requiring specific paramters involving latency, jitter, etc.

So ultimately I would think it would be critical for enterprise SDN & carrier SDN to be developed in tandem.


Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:02 PM
re: Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN

Right, standards bodies are in this as well.  There's a little bit of truth to this being "same stuff they were already selling," because all the vendors were already making plans for a software-heavy future.  I think the sudden popularity of OpenFlow, which forced the larger SDN discussion, caught a lot of them flat-footed at first.

Most of the talk has been at the data center level, so Ericsson is right to note that a carrier-grade discussion needs to emerge.

I don't know if I want to see a whole new term emerge as well. But I do agree that SDN would benefit from having more of a service provider angle.

User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:19:02 PM
re: Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN

Vendors are not alone in this. ONF, IETF and ITU are all looking at SDN and re(de)fining it to meet their various purposes.

User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:19:00 PM
re: Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN

Carrier exchanges will start to look more like Data Centres given time. At present there is still too much legacy technology in the exchange and that is holding back the transition but it will come.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Automate, Scale & Create With Juniper's vCPE Solution

10|1|15   |   6:34   |   (0) comments

Join Kireeti Kompella, Juniper Networks CTO, and Steve Saunders, Light Reading Founder and CEO, as they discuss Juniper Networks' approach to NFV showcased with a turnkey vCPE solution, which demonstrates how service providers can use automation to rapidly deploy services.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe: Day 1 Takeaways

9|29|15   |   05:47   |   (5) comments

Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Iain Morris sup a beer and discuss some of the key takeaways from the first day of Gigabit Europe 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit in Europe

9|29|15   |   04:24   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe 2015 event in Munich, Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie talks about the availability of gigabit broadband in Europe.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Band of Women

9|28|15   |   4:36   |   (0) comments

Brooks McCorcle, the president of AT&T's partner solutions divisions and a mathematician by trade, shares stats on AT&T's diversity and advice on how to create your own band of women at work.
Upcoming Live Events
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
Communication service providers realize that an ICT transformation is critical to their long-term survival, but most haven't yet committed to making it happen.
Hot Topics
Verizon's Go90 Is Live – Will Anyone Watch?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/1/2015
Eurobites: Dunroamin'
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
Sprint to Cut Up to $2.5B in 6 Months
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 10/2/2015
McKinsey: Women Less Likely to Advance at Work
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 10/1/2015
TiVo Takes Aim With Bolt
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
Hold My Calls, Indefinitely Click Here