Transport SDN – Still the Low-Hanging Fruit

Rick Talbot
Rick Talbot

Summary Bullets:

  • Transport SDN promises much shorter-term rewards than broader high-profile efforts.
  • Progress towards transport SDN can be seen in the demand for agile transport services, standards work and deployments this year.

Over the past year, network systems vendors have touted high-profile strategies to transform the service provider business model through extending software-defined networking (SDN) beyond the data center to support network functions virtualization (NFV) throughout the wide area network (WAN). The Tier 1 service providers appear to be embracing these same strategies as they seek to leverage virtual network functions (VNFs) to create new differentiated services. However, these broad efforts can be extremely complex, will likely require fundamental changes in the service provider business operations and appear to rely on a seemingly endless set of standards to avoid vendor lock-in. No wonder service provider SDN and NFV seem to be so far off.

However, another SDN trend has been taking place at the same time, one that promises much shorter-term rewards. It appears the transport SDN is still SDN’s low-hanging fruit and is of immediate interest to service providers. This progress towards transport SDN can be measured in three ways. Continue reading “Transport SDN – Still the Low-Hanging Fruit”