Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) promise new levels of simplicity, scalability, stability and security for optical networks. The SDN/NFV conversations first began in the data center and now has progressed into service provider networks as transport networks.
So, will we see SDN/NFV extend into the enterprise networks next?
Whispers of SDN/NFV extending down into the LAN has begun. This makes sense because SDN/NFV can fix inherent flaws of legacy copper-based LANs. For example, traditional LANs are built from complex full-functioning hardware deployed across the enterprise core, distribution and access portions of the LAN. They have distributed intelligence (thick client) and are typically managed at the hands of local IT staff. Worst of all, this outdated architecture experiences high operational costs and has not kept pace with modern digital business.
What about extending SDN/NFV into a Passive Optical LAN?
Understand that an Optical LAN is not burdened by the short-comings that plague legacy copper-based LANs. Optical LANs simplifies the network. They are based on centralizes intelligence and management (thin client). They scale by defining network resources in software and then allocating those resources based on real-time needs. They use policy-based controls that reduce human touch, lower network down time and improve security. Best of all, Optical LANs complements digital business and lays the foundation for SDN/NFV.
How exactly does an Optical LAN lay the foundation for SDN/NFV into enterprise networks?
- The goals of Optical LANs are closely aligned with those of SDN/NFV.
- Optical LANs already delivers many, if not most, of the benefits associated with SDN/NFV today.
- As SDN /NFV matures, you will see the Optical LAN manager software (Panorama), the OLT and the ONTs shed their PON centric management functions and gracefully evolve to the industry agreed upon SDN/NFV standards in the future.
To learn about how Optical LAN lays the foundation for SDN/NFV, you can read more about this topic in Tellabs Optical LAN advanced operations overview available online.