The networks programming process is quiet challenging, as operators face several issues within SDN planning such as maintaining the five-nines reliability of telecom networks striving for reliability and high tolerance. For example, it is questionable if a service fails and an operator instead of typically replacing the CPE (hardware part)it may be harder to identify the source of the problem and the expert that can fix it. Ultimately a standard version of SDN is “a prerequisite” and operators are looking to deploy whatever can really interoperate not only with other pieces of its network but also with future networks. The SDN products today need to ensure full compliance with mobile specific requirements in a specific and globally accpeted proof of concept.
Recently, Nokia Networks has laid the foundations for deploying Software Defined Networking (SDN) in mobile backhaul through a proof of concept developed in conjunction with Finland-based Aalto University and industry partners. The proof of concept sees centralised SDN controllers operate standard transport and packet core switches in a virtualised LTE network, with all control software running on generic data centres to enable a global view of the network but also running mobile backhaul, transport and core entirely in the telco cloud.
Moreover, Huawei is engaged into a joint innovation project with the China Telecom Guangzhou Institute. It has released new products under its SDN-based mobile backhaul solution LTEHaul supporting software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities through the release of its CX600 series aggregation router, its ATN910 series cell site router (CSR) and U2000 network management system (NMS).
There are several ongoing projects and forums where vendors have been proactively participating in standardization efforts, in collaboration with stakeholders such as operators, equipment manufacturers and research institutions, to promote the application of SDN in end-to-end networks.
Some examples are the Open Networking Foundation and the OpenDaylight project where Intracom Telecom serves as Silver Sponsor, aiming to transform the most mature SDN controller to carrier-grade status, by evaluating and enhancing its performance and stability for massive scale deployments comprising several thousands of switches. Extending this project to wireless backhaul networks, Intracom Telecom’s popular MW nodes such as OmniBAS and StreetNode have been designed to be OpenFlow ready while new networking functions are being developed on the OpenDaylight Controller to facilitate a smooth shift to the SDN architecture. Intracom Telecom is focused on accelerating the adoption of SDN, creating a solid foundation for NFV and moving along Metro Ethernet Forum’s vision of Network as a Service.
The use of SDN in backhaul networks allows MNOs to work easier with a number of suppliers, but also to consider flexible network-sharing arrangements to drive down deployment, capex and operational costs. SDN is expected to redefine the backhaul network’s ecosystem and value chain, but there are still questions of when and how to migrate the critical network elements.
architercture Intracom Telecom is committed to accelerating the adoption of SDN, creating a solid foundation for NFV and moving along Metro Ethernet
Forum’s vision of Network as a Service. Leveraging the capabilities of SDN via uni|MS™ its service and network management suite, is part of the company’s plan to offer even better managed services by employing more automation and network intelligence.