The telecoms industry is full of news and announcements around new or planned capabilities covering SDN and NFV functionality within products and networks. These technologies will undoubtedly transform certain aspects of the industry and will bring great benefits to network operators and their end customers.
But for vendors, implementing these technologies isn’t a case of simply following the herd and picking one of the standards and implementing it within their products and this is especially the case within optical transport networks. SDN will bring changes to the way transport networks are built and operated and these networks will also bring specific changes to the way the SDN environment is created. These networks are standardized digital domains at all external interfaces but internally they are complex analogue domains spanning great distances where factors such as controller hierarchy and signaling latency can have huge impacts that are not seen in other SDN environments. These are topics that will greatly impact the scale of SDN deployment within transport networks but are often brushed over quickly within industry discussions.
These transport networks often also include packet-optical integration encompassing OSI layers 0, 1, 2 (Ethernet), 2.5 (MPLS-TP) and occasionally layer 3 IP functionality. This brings the opportunity to include NFV functionality within service demarcation devices and potentially also virtual routing functions within the transport network allow new capabilities that can optimize traffic within the network and better utilize expensive core routing devices.
Infinera’s speaker, Rob Adams, VP Project Management has a deep understanding of the challenges the industry will face to correctly implement these exciting new technologies. He will bring a unique perspective to the panel based on Infinera’s plans and ongoing SDN and NFV development that consider both new metro network buildouts but also an installed base of over 50,000 packet-optical metro nodes and individual networks with up to 5000 nodes already installed.