SDN: The future of business

30 October 2017 | Editorial

The emergence of SDN over the last few years has undoubtedly changed the way we operate in the wholesale space but telecommunications as a whole.

While cost effective and non- labour intensive, it is the greater flexibility and agility of SDN, which has enabled increased innovation and the ability to respond quickly to customers’ needs. We’ve taken a look at six of the top deployments in SDN business transformation solutions.

p62Colt

DCNet On Demand, which forms part of Colt’s next generation network offering, leans heavily on software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) capabilities to drive business efficiencies and an improved customer experience. The solution offers low latency and guaranteed bandwidth with each connection. It lets customers add new sites and create connections in near real time and then modify their bandwidth on the fly, as many times as they need. In addition, users can select scalable bandwidth from 10Mbps to 10Gbps. The On Demand service portals automate tasks that had previously required a team. Ethernet service connectivity can be to customer sites and to Cloud Service Providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. 

Packetfabric

In January 2017, PacketFabric announced the launch of its SDN-based neutral layer-2 connectivity platform. The new product combines a completely automated network with terabit-scale performance, offering simple, cost-effective networking services deployment. PacketFabric’s any-to-any SDN-powered network enables coast-to-coast connectivity between 86 of its carrier-neutral colocation facilities across the 11 US markets it operates in. Adopters of PacketFabric’s solution include Telehouse in two of its New York data Centres. Also EdgeConneX, who’ve rolled out the SDN solution across its entire edge data centre portfolio. DE-CIX recently partnered with PacketFabric launching 100Gbps interconnections into DE-CIX’s North American platforms, which through the use of PacketFabric’s SDN offering, the process of sourcing and provisioning network connectivity is greatly simplified all while giving access to dynamic bandwidth. 

Windstream Wholesale

Earlier this year Windstream Wholesale introduced two new offerings in SDN. SDNow also known as Software-Defined Network Orchestrated Waves, uses the company’s ongoing SDN deployment strategy, by introducing optical wave services based on multi-vendor service orchestration and automated provisioning across the Windstream long-haul core network. SDNow is currently available at selected carrier-neutral data centres in the US with plans to expand into 50 additional locations shortly. "Providing SDNow services to our customers via multi-vendor service orchestration and automated provisioning truly differentiates Windstream in the marketplace," says Mike Shippey, president of Windstream Wholesale. "Consumers of SDN-provisioned services will see improvement in their customer experience through the removal of human touch-points in the service fulfillment process, and improved accuracy through automated standard configurations." 

Virtual1

Boasting the largest and most advanced wholesale-only UK network has this year expanded its fully software defined network by enabling its partners to increase and decrease the bandwidth on Ethernet services via 1Portal, with changes taking effect in real-time. Carrier partners of Virtual1 can now leverage a cutting-edge UK network, as if it were their own, with complete control of solutions in house, and the ability to integrate to their native systems. These enhancement to its network will release Virtual1 partners from "the shackles of legacy carrier’s processes and service levels will create innovation in customer propositions," says the company. This new functionality is immediately available across all circuits on the Virtual1 network with plans to expand this across all services they provide in the roadmap for 2018. 

NEC/Netcracker

NEC and subsidiary Netcracker Technology have partnered with Infinera and Juniper Networks to launch a new transport SDN solution. The solution offers full visibility across all IP, optical and microwave domains, while offering the ability to optimise network utilisation and automated service provisioning. Overall it aims to transform how networks are managed and controlled by combining Infinera’s expertise in network building, Juniper’s experience in IP, MPLS and network functionality with NEC/Netcracker’s multi-layer control. Commenting on the offering, Shigeru Okuya, senior vice president at NEC Corporation, said: "Service providers’ need a master Transport SDN solution that optimizes network traffic and automates configuration to maximize performance across all transport layers. And with the support of our partners, NEC and Netcracker ensure that our customers can leverage best-of-breed solutions with minimal risk to enable end-to-end network automation and control." 

Megaport

Megaport entered into a partnership with Alibaba Cloud in May. The deal will provide enterprises with direct and scalable access to Alibaba Cloud via the Megaport global SDN. By accessing Alibaba Cloud Express Connect, the high-speed dedicated network connection that securely links customers with their VPCs through Megaport’s SDN, enterprises can scale their cloud connectivity and enable rapid provisioning of capacity to Alibaba Cloud. "Direct, dedicated access to Alibaba Cloud’s services adds value to our platform. This partnership enables customers globally to directly access services from the leading cloud provider based in China. Partnering with China’s largest public cloud provider aligns with our strategy to enrich our Ecosystem and provides greater service options for our customers," said Vincent English, Chief Executive Officer of Megaport. 

Topics: SDN, wholesale telecom, Capacity media