SDN architectures

ESDN Makes Room for SDN's Packet Optical Push

Software-defined networking (SDN) has been the hottest technology trend in the datacenter environment, but its appeal also is broadening to the telecom transport sector. One of the workshop programs at Ethernet & SDN Expo (ESDN) at the Javits Center in New York City this week -- "The Power and the Promise of Packet Optical Transport 2.0" -- will delve further into that concept.

Several companies are already touting the concept of transport SDN, though Sterling Perrin, senior analyst, Heavy Reading, says transport SDN is really a subset of the broader applications for SDN in the wide area network (See Carrier SDN vs. Transport SDN).

"Transport SDN is really more like Layers 0-1, so having to do with DWDM and OTN switch elements," he says. "SDN for Layers 2-3 will be something else."

Perrin will moderate a panel as part of the packet optical workshop on Thursday at ESDN from 10:15 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. called "Network Solutions Vendor Perspectives -- SDN For Packet Optical Networks (Layers 0 - 2)." That panel will sort through some of the issues of integrating SDN in the still-developing packet optical network environment.

As part of Perrin's panel, Chris Janz, vice president of market development at Ciena, is expected to talk about its Open Testbed project involving Internet 2, Canarie and Starlight. The group discussion also will encompass applicable standards, such as the Open Networking Foundation's OpenFlow extensions, the IETF's GMPLS standard.

Early trials and testbeds by companies like Google, NTT, ESNet, and others have done solid work in showing that SDN can work in the wide area network outside of datacenters, but Perrin says it's still early in the game. "We're still really in a use-case stage for SDN in the wide area," he says. "A lot of people are proposing projects and working things out as to how SDN in the wide area will develop."

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

DOShea 10/6/2013 | 4:54:38 PM
Re: Data Center Interconnect Yes, Sterling, well said. And whoever said it first should have trademarked it. I suddenly feel after last week's Ethernet & SDN Expo that I'm going to be hearing that phrase quite a lot. In fact, stay tuned for a "the data center is the new central office" Internet meme, probably co-starring Dan Jones in some way.
sam masud 10/1/2013 | 2:34:35 PM
Re: Data Center Interconnect I think the term new CO for the carrier SDN data center is pretty apt.
sterlingperrin 10/1/2013 | 10:32:46 AM
Data Center Interconnect Dan,

One thing to note, the WAN SDN applications we are seeing so far are very much around connecting the data centers - so you have intra-data center SDN and then inter-data center SDN for the WAN. Some people (including on these message boards) have knocked the WAN SDN applications to date as being "still just data centers."

But one comment I've heard from several carriers is "the data center is the new central office." With the requirements to re-architect the WAN for cloud services/applications, that may be where the majority of WAN SDN focus is needed - i.e., connecting the data centers.


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