SAN FRANCISCO -- OFC 2014 -- Industry standards and specifications bodies are turning SDN into something of a circus that's a distraction from real progress, according to a carrier executive who shared his views here Monday.
During an The Optical Society (OSA) Executive Forum panel session, Andrew Lord, head of optical research at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), was asked whether there may be too many industry bodies developing SDN-related standards. Lord said those bodies are "so competitive… they've all jumped on the SDN bandwagon, and with all of them coming from different backgrounds, it muddies the waters. There's just so much hype."
The industry needs about two or three years to "have a play" with SDN, he said. "We are getting stuff in the lab -- we don't really know yet what we're going to do or what makes sense, so we're going to give it a go [in the lab] and see what makes sense."
Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) CEO Gary Smith agreed with that. "The standards bodies have picked it [SDN] up and run with it," he said during a lunchtime news briefing Tuesday. "It's going to take two or three years for it to play out."
Aref Chowdhury, CTO of optics at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), isn't too happy about the focus of the SDN specifications organizations. During the OSA's Executive Forum Monday, he said a lot of time and effort has been spent on the development of "southbound" and "northbound" interfaces for SDN controllers (southbound to the network, northbound to applications).
What really needs more focus is the "east to west" interface from SDN controller to SDN controller, he said. "That needs to be standardized. If you get that right, then everything else will fall into place."
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading