& cplSiteName &

How Do You Get to SDN From Here?

Carol Wilson
2/12/2014
50%
50%

The Open Networking Foundation is taking on one of the trickier aspects of the move to virtualization, publishing a document that details migration strategies for the move to software-defined networking (SDN) in campus, service provider edge, and wide-area networks. (See ONF Offers Guidance On SDN Migration.)

Developed by the Open Networking Foundation Migration Working Group and published Tuesday, the aptly titled "Migration Use Cases and Methods" draws heavily on the experience of three SDN pioneers: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), NTT Group (NYSE: NTT), and Stanford University , to offer best-practices and lessons learned from real-world deployments.

Among its core recommendations are the need for gap analysis to determine the impact the move to SDN will have on current services, creation of pre- and post-migration checklists to guide assessments of connectivity and service continuity checks, and well-documented back-out procedures that can be used "in case of unexpected results."

"We set this up as a framework for SDN deployment," says Justin Dustzadeh, chief technology officer and vice president of technology strategy at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and chair of the ONF Migration Working Group. The idea was to look closely at what the three SDN deployments had done and to come back with a pragmatic approach that can be used across the industry.

That approach is laid out in stages, Dustzadeh says, beginning with defining the core requirements of a target OpenFlow-based network, continuing with preparation for the rollout, then moving on to laying out the steps of a phased migration and making sure that at each stage there is a rollback mechanism. In the final and fourth stage, the service provider needs to test and verify the SDN-based services, as well as the impact of the move to SDN on its original services.

Different networks, different views
The working group specifically chose three deployments in different parts of the network: Stanford linked two campus buildings, NTT used OpenFlow to connect edge routers to an external control plane, and Google created its much-ballyhooed B4 wide-area network based on SDN. (See NTT Advances SDN and Google: SDN Works for Us.)

The document is the first product of a working group that was launched in April 2013 in response to very real concerns by ONF members that moving to SDN might require the impossible: ditching billions of dollars of investment in current networks.

"A lot of people were saying they didn't want to throw money away, and they needed to know how they get there from here," says Dan Pitt, ONF executive director. Existing working groups weren't directly addressing the migration challenge in a practical way.

Next up for the Migration Working Group is exploration of the specific software tools and metrics needed to support the process of migrating to SDN, with the goal of bringing the IT world's level of automation for software upgrade to the carrier space, says Dustzadeh.

Along the way, his group isn't specifically addressing how carriers build the business case for SDN migration, but it is providing greater information and insight that can be used in that regard, he says.

"We have ongoing studies to also address the cost, performance, and other aspects that might be relevant in the bigger picture of SDN migration," Dustzadeh says. "Today, most operators and CEOs and business decision makers are trying to find out what does it take, what is it going to cost me, and what is the long-term return on investment, not only for simplifying my network but also enabling me to introduce new services more quickly and efficiently."

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

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/23/2014 | 2:58:01 AM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
My original point was that incumbent providers have to balance their existing investments against deploying new technologies. SDN will have an adoption rate that will depend on its ROI for each particular carrier.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/23/2014 | 2:53:04 AM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
Seven, You make it sound like incumbents couldn't adopt SDN at nearly any reasonable speed due to having too many employees. But if SDN adoption could guarantee a hefty ROI, I'm sure the technical grunts that make up such a small fraction of a 100,000 person organization would all be told to drop whatever else they were doing to deploy SDN technologies ASAP.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/22/2014 | 10:41:36 AM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
You guys talk about this like it is the incumbent's control. Imagine a company with 100,000 people. 10% or less are skilled technically. The rest follow detailed rules set out by those small few. The skilled have to figure out a way to mainstream the technology because the snotty nosed kids who showed up with it surely didn't. Those folks assumed that the most important thing that the Tier 1 carrier could do would be to turn their organization on its head to adopt this new, unproven technology. Rule 1 - Think about the problem from the customer's viewpoint. Seven
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/21/2014 | 9:44:13 PM
Re: Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
That's usually the trend when it comes to adopting new technology. OLd & big is hard to make "new" things happen. When you're lean & have less to lose, it's easier to try things out. If you fail, it hurts you less (relatively speaking).
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/21/2014 | 7:07:51 PM
Will incumbents invest in SDN anytime soon?
It's been said more than a few times that incumbent service providers have little incentive to adopt disruptive/innovative technologies because they rely much more on squeezing every last drop of profit out of their existing infrastructure investments.

A recent interview with wireless pcell CEO, Steve Perlman, reminded me of this:

http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/20/steve-perlman-pcell-is-real-and-it-will-change-the-world-interview/2/

What I've learned the hard way is incumbents, just because of the priorities they have and the triages they have to make, they sometimes would rather sit on a technology that disrupts the established structure, rather than have something deployed. Very often I've found that companies know they can't move quickly to go and take advantage of some new technology because of their internal inertia.

So it wouldn't surprise me that migration to SDN might take some carriers a bit longer to do, especially if their current infrastructure investments are sizable. It's the smaller operators who will be more willing to try out SDN because they have less existing revenue to lose and more operating profitability to gain.

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
4.5G Evolution: Peter Zhou on Advanced MIMO Technologies & 5G Business Prep

2|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


In the process of service transformation, operators need to catch three major opportunities and start deploying in 4.5G networks, such as video, household broadband access and digital transformation of vertical industries. 5G is coming. Operators don't need to wait for it to happen but should progressively deploy 4.5G networks by introducing 5G-oriented ...
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.
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.