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The SDN Balancing Act

Phil Harvey
3/21/2013

What balance will service providers find with SDN? As they embrace more flexible networks that offer more control to customers -- as software-defined networking (SDN) suggests is possible -- some interesting questions arise. If service providers are able to deliver more bandwidth on demand, that allows enterprises to be more flexible. The enterprise won't need to spend the time planning for things it can buy easily on demand. But if bandwidth on demand is so easy to turn on and off, will those same enterprises continue to pay for constant connections when they only use some of that always-on access some of the time?

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dig_deeper
dig_deeper
3/25/2013 | 7:56:50 PM
re: The SDN Balancing Act
myview, Its the example Nick gave to Phil! -áAlthough, agree with your frustration on how Nick and gang's examples are not questioned and examined more objectively.
myview
myview
3/25/2013 | 6:32:25 PM
re: The SDN Balancing Act
Seriously? Is bandwidth on demand now an "SDN-like flexibility"? Is bandwidth on demand something new in any sense? Come on, Phil, -áthis, to me, is becoming too embarrassing. I really expect more serious, thoughtful and deeper arguments than this one on Lightreading.
mark-r
mark-r
3/22/2013 | 9:20:04 PM
re: The SDN Balancing Act
Where on-demand resized network connectivity services make financial sense both for the customer and the SP is when the customer organization (as thomaswe seems to indicate) has enough aggregate demand among its internal users/subscribers so that there are stat muxing benefits among them, for more cost-efficient use of the capacity service bought from the SP. In these cases the customer organization's access capacity (fixed by its physical port bit/s rates) to the SP's network forms the bottlenecks, the utilization of which is to be optimized. Eg the SP's network delivering traffic to any given site (or off-net access point) of the customer should dynamically allocate its bandwidth to match the variations of traffic loads to that given access port from the other sites/NAPs of that customer.

The benefit for the customer is maximized utilization of its network access capacity, ie the customer gets more traffic through per unit cost of the service.

The SP can deliver the given level of network on-time throughput service at lower cost base, compared to a case of static bandwidth allocation for the inter-site links for the discussed customer contract. Thus the SP can earn the given revenue level for less cost, thereby improving its profitability.
Phil Harvey
Phil Harvey
3/22/2013 | 3:09:29 PM
re: The SDN Balancing Act
Execs from Level 3 and TDS were the ones who brought the issue up on Wednesday morning's program. So there must be some concern that the business model would be harmed if SPs went too far too fast with SDN-like flexibility.
thomaswe
thomaswe
3/22/2013 | 9:18:51 AM
re: The SDN Balancing Act
On-demand and pay-per-use with TCO savings for the consumer/enterprise
only works out if on the supply side you have a significant demand aggregation
(like Amazon Cloud). If this is not the case the pay-per-use pricing will take
into account the volatility of usage and no TCO savings will be reached. Therefore
there is no balance act, but only some calculations required.
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