How SDN is being used and rolled out

There has been astounding growth in multimedia, cloud  applications, and mobile usage—all while the competitive market builds business  pressures to reduce costs, while revenues stay flat. So the industry—enterprises,  carriers, and service providers alike—is trying to figure out how to manage the  havoc and transform traditional business models. Many are looking to SDN technology as a way to drastically change their network design and operations.

Using open APIs, SDN helps you centrally program network behavior  through software applications. Since SDN opens up previously closed proprietary  networks, you can manage your entire network—and all of your  devices—consistently, no matter how complex the technology that runs the  network.

How SDN changes  the game

SDN is a game-changer for network players in the way it enables programmable networks, centralizes  intelligence and control, facilitates  network interaction via APIs, and provides  vendor-neutral open architectures. Let’s explore how those game changers  can make a difference for you:

  1. Programmable  networks: The ability to control network behavior using software external  to the physical networking devices gives you an easy way to customize networks in  support of new services. Such services can be granular at the level of individual  customers. Without the constraints of closed and proprietary platforms and with  the benefit of hardware decoupled from software, you can introduce innovative,  differentiated new services rapidly.

  2. Intelligence  and control centralized: With SDN’s central control and intelligence,  bandwidth management, restoration, security, and policies become highly  optimized. As a result, you gain a holistic view of the network. The logically  centralized network approach means resources in your network reap the benefit  of intelligent central control and management—rather than the typically  distributed control methods that result in devices operating with little awareness  of the current state of the overall network.
  3. Network  interaction via APIs: With SDN, your services and applications are logically separated from  physical network hardware and connections. Instead of using physical  connections and management interfaces that are tightly coupled with the  hardware, your applications connect over the network infrastructure flexibly,  with the use of APIs between OSS/BSS, orchestration, and assurance systems.
  4. Vendor-neutral  architectures: Interoperability and openness are hallmarks of SDN architectures.  Multi-vendor interoperability fosters a vendor-neutral ecosystem. Use of open  APIs enables an array of applications, such as cloud orchestration, SaaS, and  business-critical networked apps. Intelligent SDN software can control hardware  from disparate vendors that utilize open programmatic interfaces, such as  OpenFlow. Moreover, intelligent network services and applications run in a  common IT software environment.

How Ciena helps

Ciena’s Blue Planet provides customer-proven, vendor-neutral SDN  solutions for automating service and network provisioning across multiple  physical network layers (L0, L1, L2). The abstracted ‘single-pane-of-glass’ SDN  approach breaks down management and technology silos, enabling network  operators to orchestrate services from end to end.

In addition, Blue Planet significantly reduces manual  ‘step-by-step’ provisioning errors and increases service velocity. And Blue  Planet Resource Adapters streamline integration with underlying third-party SDN  controllers, EMS/NMS, and network elements across a wide array of native  protocols.

At the heart of the Blue Planet SDN approach, Open REST APIs  simplify your back-office OSS/BSS integration. Meanwhile, DevOps-style  programmability gives you greater control, agility, and self-sufficiency. The extensible,  multi-domain platform paves the way to innovative services such as  bandwidth-on-demand and Network-as-a-Service.

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