Ericsson's new lab aims to open the door for OpenDaylight, SDN applications

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is a big believer in software-defined networking and is putting its money where its vision is, launching the OpenDaylight Community Lab to accelerate the availability of SDN-based applications.

Johan Wibergh

The OpenDaylight Project, a vendor community-driven effort announced in April 2013, was created to facilitate an open-source framework, including code and architecture, for a common SDN platform. In line with that mission, the new lab at Ericsson's campus in San Jose, Calif., will enable developers to integrate, test and verify their applications in an OpenDaylight ecosystem. Ericsson will run the lab in collaboration with the OpenDaylight Project, for which it is a founding Platinum sponsor.

"We believe SDN will completely change the way networks are built. It's an area where we are investing a lot, in IP and SDN," Johan Wibergh, Ericsson's executive vice president and head of its networks business unit, recently told FierceWirelessTech.

Don McCullough, Ericsson's director of strategic technology marketing, says Ericsson's approach differs from that of traditional SDN vendors in that it adds three extensions to basic SDN to create what it calls "Service Provider SDN." The extensions cover integrated telco network and data center control; orchestration of network management and cloud management so operators can integrate SDN with their existing network management systems; and service exposure via APIs.

He told FierceWirelessTech that Ericsson sees SDN as the key to "network slicing," which gets away from one-size-fits-all service provisioning.

He noted operators could use the concept of network slicing to partner more closely with large enterprise customers and provide them with tailored, dynamic service level agreements (SLAs), bandwidth and connections. Such customization would take into account how individual enterprises actually use the telco network and would be "defined not by what the network can deliver but by the task that needs to be done," he said.

Ericsson is also collaborating with other OpenDaylight Project members to develop the OpenDaylight SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) platform, including the first open-source software release named Hydrogen, which was announced on Feb. 4.

Hydrogen includes more than 1 million lines of code and is the first simultaneous release of OpenDaylight delivering three different versions: a base edition for developers and academia; a virtualization edition for data centers; and a service provider edition for providers and carriers that manage existing networks and want to plot a path to SDN and NFV.

For more:
- see this Ericsson release
- see this OpenDaylight release

Related articles:
Juniper's Contrail SDN controller draws wireless network attention
SDN: Ericsson, Huawei and others consider virtualizing the mobile network
Vendors team on open source SDN platform