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SDNs move from theory to reality

Jim Duffy | March 6, 2014
AT&T, NTT, others share implementation experiences, strategies at Open Networking Summit 2014.

Domain 2.0 will be implemented in waves. The first this year will see AT&T put SDN controllers on existing platforms to test and perhaps extend useful life of existing assets. AT&T won't do overlays, Donovan said, but will establish about a half dozen "beachhead" projects to "toe tag" existing assets, with a "rapid pivot" to the new environment.

In 2015, platforms will emerge designed for and deployed in a highly distributed cloud, eventually encompassing the carrier's 4,600 data centers.

But AT&T is no SDN neophyte. To date, the carrier has abstracted the entire control plane from its backbone, Donovan said, and has "a number" of abstraction layers deployed throughout its network.

But there are challenges along the way.

"Orchestration of those controllers is a very, very complex thing," Donovan said, no less resolute. "We're moving out and we're moving out in a big way."


"No army can hold back an economic principle whose time has come," he said of the SDN/NFV uprising.


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