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ADTRAN Offers New Network Elements to Improve SDN Presence

October 19, 2016

Software-defined networking (SDN) is still a young technology, and often doesn't get the same kind of attention that its close relative in the field, network functions virtualization (NFV) does. That's changing, though, and new developments like one recently announced from ADTRAN are help clearing the way ahead for new SDN developments to emerge.

The latest development is a new set of network elements that take SDN to a product implementation state, a step ahead of its common position as a principal framework. Called software-defined access (SDA) network elements, and known collectively as the SDX series, these start with ADTRAN's Mosaic to ultimately help users product a better network that can not only be programmed but also be scaled as needed.

Additionally, the SDX Series boasts passive optical network (PON) optical line terminals (OLTs) with sufficient density to produce excellent results. The system also turns to fiber-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp), using copper and coax cable as it's available to get the most out of distributions. The switches and routers involved turn to Carrier Ethernet 2.0, fabric, and IP / Ethernet aggregation, and offer a set of customer devices that can be programmed to suit needs. Some of these include residential gateways and virtual customer premises equipment (CPE) setups.

When the SDX Series is combined with cloud-based platform operations, the end result is a shot at data center-grade economies of scale, and yet still retain the agility that gives a small business a competitive edge in the field. The SDX lineup actually gets further improvement from application developers who have turned to the open architecture as a means to drive new apps.

ADTRAN's associate vice president for cloud and portfolio strategy, Robert Conger, commented “ADTRAN is leading agile network solutions development. The SDX series of natively SDN-controlled access devices will enable operators to fast track the deployment of fully automated, web-scale networks. Service providers can rapidly create, deploy and upgrade applications independently for increased operational efficiencies, regardless of device, technology or service. This leads to more nimble business models, service innovations and improved revenue.”

It's another example of how SDN is making gains in the field. Though it hasn't had the support that NFV has had—especially given that NFV is proving more popular at the corporate level than SDN, which has been seen sometimes as a more specialist tool—it's been gaining ground as it demonstrates its prowess. These new developments will certainly help by offering a more concrete value proposition, making it clear that those who use SDN can achieve some rather impressive end states; any time someone says “data center economies,” many take notice.

The growth of SDN won't occur in isolation. It will take new developments like ADTRAN's SDX Series lineup to help deliver on the promise that SDN represents. That's good news for the users, and good news for ADTRAN, who can make a few gains of its own offering a powerful new tool for users.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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