SDN & OpenFlow World Congress Insights Serve as Telecom Benchmark for 2016

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Friday, November 13, 2015 with No comments

For the telecom industry, SDN & OpenFlow World Congress held in Dusseldorf each October is arguably is one of the most influential shows of the year for trend-setting topics, lingo, and gauging the progress of efforts to shift toward SDN and NFV in real service provider deployments. Those who attended or followed news from the event last month will be digesting for a while, leveraging progress reports and conclusions as a baseline for the year ahead.

Here are a few highlights noted by Accedian team members who were at the show. Pay attentionthese topics are likely to be focal points during GEN15 next week, and indeed throughout 2016.

SDN and NFV Business Case

The promise of cost savings from adopting SDN and NFV has not yet materialized, and its cost will increase during the transition. Although cost savings may come in the long term, for now justification focuses on agility and new revenue opportunities.

For example, if a fully customer-controlled, application-aware, programmable network is available, customers will do new things with it that lead to new revenue opportunitiessuch as large file transfer, new business models, ‘follow the sun’ services, and e-commerce globalization.

Network Security

Network security threats tripled year-over-year (2014-2015). This is a major concern, with different approaches to mitigating it. For example, Sandvine’s value proposition is summed up as “Visibility, Control, Protection,” emphasizing the concept of insight-as-a-service to provide user-controlled security and analytics.

Overall, attention is being paid to nonrepudiation as a key part of policy enforcement (ensuring control/commands are undeniably associated with security origins and users), and the importance of IPsec for managed environments and ‘branch’ gateways.  

Network Performance

When networks don’t performance as expected, what’s to blame? And just how big a problem is this?

Sue Rudd, Director of Strategy Analytics, made the case for service activation testing (SAT) and performance monitoring by concluding that: “64% of network outages and performance issues are configuration-related.”

Robert Mason, Managing VP at Gartner, observed: “Through 2015, at least 50% of cloud deployments suffered from business impacting performance issues, requiring extensive network redesign to address them.”

What conclusions did  you take away from SDN and OpenFlow World Congress 2015? What do you think will be the major topics of discussion at GEN15? Drop a comment below.