Software-defined networking (SDN) is a critical component of our open networking solutions that unlocks many of the model’s benefits for scaling and optimizing your network. We recently attended the webinar, “SDN & Optical Networks,” hosted by Lightwave Online. Here are our key takeaways from this informative session.

SDN has Three Simple Goals.

While SDN can seem conceptually overwhelming, the main benefits can be boiled down to three simple words: simplify, standardize, personalize.

Network abstraction (i.e., the disaggregation of the control plane from the forwarding plane) is a relatively simple, effective way to take a complex, multi-generational, multi-technology network and apply a consistent level and method of control. In this way, it can make all these elements of your network look and feel the same.

Standardization also reduces the human effort (and associated potential of human error) in network management and replaces it with a more model-driven, templatized approach. Lastly, SDN can bring in advanced data analytics to offer a higher level of customization for your network than is otherwise possible, and ultimately create a “self-serve” network services model for your customers.

Digital Transformation in Four Steps.

  • How well do you know your network? Getting the most out of any SDN or network automation implementation requires a deep understanding of your network operations upfront. Questions you should be able to quickly and confidently answer can include:
    • Is your network inventory (physical and logical services) managed manually?
    • How accurate and complete is the information available to your network and capacity planners?
    • Do you have timely backups in place to restore service when any network element fails?
    • How accurately can you evaluate true customer impact in the case of a “big pipe” outage?
  • Are you “waiting” for your network to break? Is your approach to network management reactive or proactive? Are your technicians devoting large amounts of time to watching alarms? Do you employ predictive analytics to take action before an outage? Some network automation systems can help you be more proactive, with features including autonomous ticketing systems and self-repairing.
  • Are humans still “touching” the network? Manual work on your network can be a major obstacle to efficient network scalability. Juggling multiple element management systems and remembering multiple provisioning standards increases the risk of human error and can slow down the process of turning up new services. From provisioning to repair and maintenance, network automation can help you overcome these obstacles.
  • Are your customers “self serve” for network services? As consumers, the titans of shopping and entertainment have conditioned us to expect on-demand, personalized services as part of the customer experience. Your customers are no different when it comes to network services. Network automation can afford you the requisite control to deliver the more personalized services your customers require.

SDN and network automation are native to Champion ONE’s open network solutions. To discuss these solutions with our experts, contact us today.