Software-Defined Networking

Creating an open network platform for innovation in service creation and delivery, and optimization of network resources and operations

What is SDN?
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) will drive significant changes in how networks are built and operated. SDN places more control of network configuration and state in the hands of logically centralized software—putting greater control of network-based innovation and differentiation in the hands of network operators. It leverages global views of network resource and service demand information, promoting operations, automation, and resource optimization—while liberating and accelerating new service creation.

Ciena and SDN
Ciena has been involved in the development of SDN since our involvement in the Stanford Clean Slate program in 2009 and our subsequent creation of our OPn SDN test-bed. We continue to support and promote open SDN through active participation and leadership in the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and the OpenDaylight project, among other industry consortia.

Ciena enables network operators to enjoy the benefits of SDN—a key pillar of Ciena's OPn network vision—through our Agility software portfolio. In the OPn architecture, the network becomes a programmable pool of photonic, OTN, packet, and functions virtualization resources, driven by Ciena and third-party-developed network applications that work with our OpenDaylight-based Multilayer WAN Controller. By employing real-time analytics and advanced algorithms partially leveraging intellectual property from our market-leading OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane, we enable network operators to close the agility gap between information and action.

While other SDN solutions have mainly focused on the intra-data-center network, Agility addresses the unique challenges of WAN operators:

  • Carrier-grade resiliency and scale
  • Multilayer and cross-layer (L0/1/2/3) operations and resource optimization
  • Multi-vendor networks, including pre/non-OpenFlow programmable elements
  • Asset monetization for service providers

And we address their fundamental concerns of vendor lock-in and competitive differentiation by supporting the modular and vendor-neutral OpenDaylight open ecosystem rather than creating yet another vendor-centric “ego-system”.