An Update on the OIF's SDN Activities

By Paula Bernier August 05, 2014

Everybody wants a piece of the superhot software-defined networking pie, and the Optical Internetworking Forum is no exception. OIF stated as much in a press release issued a year ago May. And the group – which includes such major service providers as China Telecom, DT, Google, NTT Corp., TELUS, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, as well as wide variety of equipment companies – continues to move forward with its work on the SDN front.

Already, OIF has published a document that looks at SDN orchestration, SDN relating to the control and management planes, and gaps in the data plane to enable SDN transport. Published in September 2013, the paper is titled “OIF Carrier WG Requirements on Transport Networks in SDN Architectures”.

Then, OIF members voted to start work on the Virtual Network Services space in early June. VNS slices the network, divides network resources, and presents them to customers or applications as a virtual network, the group explains.

“This work on VNS is timely as the network struggles to define SDN services for Transport Networks,” said Vishnu Shukla, of Verizon and the OIF president. “The OIF has a history of recognizing gaps in technology through its member interaction between carriers and vendors.”

In July, OIF announced a collaboration on transport SDN with the Open Networking Foundation, with which it plans to hold demonstrations in several carrier-hosted labs.

In addition to its demonstration and VNS efforts, the OIF is working on northbound interfaces related to transport SDN, among other areas in which there may be industry gaps.

"The OIF is working on defining a framework for the industry to clarify the interfaces required in the Transport SDN ecosystem, leveraging input from carriers,” Jonathan Sadler, Tellabs and the OIF’s Technical Committee chair, was quoted as saying in the May 13, 2013, press release put out by the OIF. “In addition, the OIF is advancing work in 100G interconnect and has completed implementation agreements that focus on technology from past interoperability demonstrations.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Executive Editor, TMC

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