Operators must act fast on SDN

For operators looking at their options for implementing software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies in their networks, a broadband consultant offers the following advice: do it now.
“Don’t wait! Move quickly,” said Peter Macaulay, principal consultant at ZDSL.com and a member of the Broadband Forum. “There’s a lot of fiber being built out there. We need apps on that fiber and we need them fast. SDN can deliver that.”
Speaking during a panel session on SDN technologies at the CommunicAsia Summit Tuesday, Macaulay said recent broadband rollouts in Malaysia and elsewhere have made it clear that operators need to be able to deploy services as quickly as possible, and SDN - which separates the data plane from the control plane across network equipment - is the key to making that happen.
“SDN allows for better topology discovery, faster root cause analysis and virtualized router switch configuration,” Macaulay said. “This is the most significant change telecoms has seen in 50 years.”
Macaulay urged delegates not to get caught up in arguments over whether protocols like OpenFlow are the future of SDN. “There may be a better technology solution one or two years down the road - but don’t wait.”
And if your vendor can’t enable SDN on your current network gear, Macaulay added, get an SDN proxy to enable OpenFlow. “Look at some solutions and start on this path.”