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Dive Into the Transport SDN Debate at BTE

Dan O'Shea
6/16/2014
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As SDN moves into the upper layers of the network in very real ways, it remains a work in progress at the transport layer. Many of the questions relating to how to implement SDN in transport networks are still a topic of intense debate, and much of that debate will be happening this week at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in Chicago.

Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin will be moderating a Tuesday panel session, "Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks," that will dive into the transport SDN discussion. "The industry has to figure out how to go about SDN on the transport layer, and while there is a lot to be done there, there also is a lot of operator interest in seeing it get figured out," Perrin says.

"There are still questions about the applicability of OpenFlow to carrier SDN or wide area SDN," he adds. "The ONF is working on a transport extension for OpenFlow, but operators and their suppliers also have been looking elsewhere. Some say that whatever SDN becomes in the WAN, it won't be based on OpenFlow."

Meanwhile, Perrin also will be moderating two other panels -- also Tuesday afternoon -- delving into other aspects of the future of transport networking. "From 100G to 400G to…" will take on the eternally topical issue of what's next in terms of transport bandwidth. The immediate answer might be another generation of 100G.

"The first generation of 100G got into the market, and has done well, but 100G is going to have a long lifespan, both in the core network and in the metro," Perrin says. "How does the industry continue to improve price and reach in the metro environment? Those are some of the issues related to the next iteration of 100G." Of course, you can also expect to hear the latest on the long-term question of what's next -- a multiple-choice question the possible answers to which include 200G, 400G, 1T, and 1.6T.

Perrin's third Tuesday panel is "P-OTS 2.0: Reaping the Benefits." So, the moral of this story is don't e-mail Perrin on Tuesday afternoon -- he's going to be very busy. (You might want to let him sleep in Wednesday morning, too…)

You can find more details on all three panels right here.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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