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
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