NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that the initial technology hype around software-defined networking (SDN) has settled down, operators are grappling with the hard questions that come with actual implementation of SDN technology. Accordingly, the telecom industry has witnessed an explosion of service provider activity around SDN applications in the wide-area network (WAN), according to a major new report from Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com), the research division of Light Reading (www.lightreading.com).
SDN in the WAN: Service Provider Opportunities & Challenges seeks to get beyond the vast industry hype to provide a realistic assessment of the opportunities and challenges for service providers as they migrate their network architectures to the agile, software-driven networks of the future. The report focuses specifically on the application of SDN to Layers 0 and 1 in the service provider WAN, sometimes called transport SDN (T-SDN).
This report is based in part on two major global operator surveys conducted by Heavy Reading. The results of these surveys were initially published in proprietary studies available only to project sponsors, and are here being made available publicly for the first time. For this report, Heavy Reading also conducted a series of in-depth, one-on-one interviews with key service provider innovators. Based on these interviews, the report profiles the three key SDN standards bodies and five service providers that are on the leading edge of helping define WAN and T-SDN globally.
"In just a few short years, SDN has risen from relative obscurity in academia to become the most transformative business and technology trend the telecom world has seen in decades," explains Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and author of the report. "The potential scope of SDN is broad and reaches nearly every aspect of service provider organizations."
However, significant industry standardization/collaboration is required in order for WAN SDN to scale from niche deployment to wide-scale implementation, Perrin warns. "In the absence of clear direction from service providers, equipment suppliers throughout the supply chain are filling the void with their own technology and roadmap solutions for SDN. This vendor noise is contributing to further service provider confusion and delays."
Key findings of SDN in the WAN: Service Provider Opportunities & Challenges include the following:
Operator interest in SDN in the WAN can be traced back to requirements for cloud services delivery. The cloud model is based on sharing storage and computing resources across wide geographies. In order for these resources to be shared efficiently, however, the network has to be both dynamic and flexible – a dramatic change from the static-pipes model of the enterprise networking past.
SDN's perceived benefits differ depending on what part of the service provider organization is talking. Network operators' transport groups have a heavy focus on capex and opex savings, increasing efficiency and interoperability; their product groups are more focused on increasing revenue from existing services, creating new services and bringing both existing and new services to market more quickly.
Service providers view SDN primarily as a Layer 3 networking revolution – including the IP and MPLS layers. Few operators see the optical layers – including WDM and OTN layers – as benefitting the most from SDN. However, there is significant interest in IP+optical integration, which is increasingly being viewed as a means to reduce both capex and opex.
Transport SDN, defined as SDN applied to Layers 1 and 0, must be addressed differently than higher layers of the OSI stack. The analog nature of optics – including a host of optical attributes and features, such as chromatic dispersion/polarization mode dispersion, forward error correction, optical filtering, amplifier settings and more – makes SDN a special case in this part of the network.
SDN in the WAN: Service Provider Opportunities & Challenges costs $3,995 and is published in PDF format. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.
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About Heavy Reading
Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com), the research division of Light Reading, offers deep analysis of emerging telecom trends to network operators, technology suppliers, and investors. Its product portfolio includes in-depth reports that address critical next-generation technology and service issues, market trackers that focus on the telecom industry's most critical technology sectors, exclusive worldwide surveys of network operator decision-makers that identify future purchasing and deployment plans, and a rich array of custom and consulting services that give clients the market intelligence needed to compete successfully in the global telecom industry.
About Light Reading
Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) combines its research-led online communities and targeted events portfolio to help those in the global communications industry make informed decisions. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for telecom analysis for more than 350,000 subscribers each month, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading produces targeted communications events and focused one-day conferences each year for cable, mobile, and wireline executives across five continents.
SOURCE Heavy Reading