The communications technology journal since 1924 2013 • 2Software-defined networking:the service provider perspectiveFebru...
Software-definednetworking: the serviceprovider perspectiveAn architecture based on SDN techniques gives operators greater...
of the data plane (including SGW, PGWand M-MGW) and the control plane(including MME and MSC-S) was intro-duced. Now SDN ha...
intothisunifiedorchestrationlayerpro-vides the necessary support for applica-tions and tenants to trigger automaticchanges...
Ericsson and Telstra have jointly devel-oped a service-chaining prototype thatleverages SDN technologies to enhancegranula...
Giventherateoftrafficgrowth,con-tinuedinvestmentincapacityforinlineservices needs to be managed careful-ly. Dynamic servic...
HomegatewaycontrolTheconceptofthevirtualhomegateway(VHG) introduces a new home-networkarchitecture primarily driven by con...
Telefonaktiebolaget LM EricssonSE-164 83 Stockholm, SwedenPhone: + 46 10 719 0000Fax: +46 8 522 915 99284 23-3191 | UenISS...
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Ericsson Review: Software-Defined-Networking


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An architecture based on software-defined networking (SDN) techniques gives operators greater freedom to balance operational and business parameters, such as network resilience, service performance and QoE against opex and capex. With its beginnings in data-center technology, software-defined networking (SDN) technology has developed to the point where it can offer significant opportunities to service providers.

The traditional way of describing network architecture and how a network behaves is through the fixed designs and behaviors of its various elements. The concept of software-defined networking (SDN) describes networks and how they behave in a more flexible way – through software tools that describe network elements in terms of programmable network states.

To maximize the potential benefits and deliver superior user experience, software-defined networking (SDN) needs to be implemented outside the sphere of the data center across the entire network. This can be achieved through enabling network programmability based on open APIs. Service Provider SDN will help operators to scale networks and take advantage of new revenue-generating possibilities.
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Ericsson Review: Software-Defined-Networking

  1. 1. The communications technology journal since 1924 2013 • 2Software-defined networking:the service provider perspectiveFebruary 21, 2013
  2. 2. Software-definednetworking: the serviceprovider perspectiveAn architecture based on SDN techniques gives operators greater freedomto balance operational and business parameters, such as network resilience,service performance and QoE against opex and capex.every year1. One of the root causes ofnetwork complexity lies in the tradi-tional way technology has developed.The design of network elements, suchas routers and switches, has tradition-allybeenclosed;theytendtohavetheirown management systems with verti-callyintegratedforwardingandcontrolcomponents, and often use proprietaryinterfaces and features. The goal ofnetwork management is, however, toensurethattheentirenetworkbehavesas desired – an objective that is muchmore important than the capabilitiesof any single network element. In fact,implementing end-to-end networkingisanimportantmissionformostopera-tors, and having to configure individu-al network elements simply creates anunwantedoverhead.Network-wideprogrammability–thecapabilitytochangethebehaviorofthenetwork as a whole – greatly simplifiesthe management of networks. And thepurposeofSDNisexactlythat:tobeableto modify the behavior of entire net-worksinacontrolledmanner.The tradition of slow innovation innetworking needs to be broken if net-worksaretomeettheincreaseddemandfor transport and processing capaci-ty. By integrating recent technologicaladvances and introducing network-wide abstractions, SDN does just that.Itisanevolutionarystepinnetworking.Telephony has undergone similararchitectural transitions in the past.One such evolution took place when aclearseparationbetweenthefunctionsEricsson’sapproachtoSDNgoesbeyondthe data center addressing issues in theservice-provider environment. In shortEricsson’s approach is Service ProviderSDN. The concept aims to extend virtu-alization and OpenFlow – an emergingprotocol for communication betweenthe control and data planes in an SDNarchitecture–withthreeadditionalkeyenablers: integrated network control;orchestrated network and cloud man-agement;andserviceexposure.There is no denying that networksare becoming increasingly complex.More and more functionality is beingintegrated into each network element,and more and more network elementsare needed to support evolving servicerequirements–especiallytosupportris-ing capacity needs, which are doublingATTILA TAKACS, ELISA BELLAGAMBA, AND JOE WILKEThe traditional way of describingnetwork architecture and how anetwork behaves is through thefixed designs and behaviors of itsvarious elements. The conceptof software-defined networking(SDN) describes networks andhow they behave in a more flexibleway – through software tools thatdescribe network elements interms of programmable networkstates.The concept is based on split archi-tecture, which separates forwardingfunctions from control functions. Thisdecoupling removes some of the com-plexity from network management,providing operators with greater flexi-bilitytomakechanges.BOX A Terms and abbreviationsAPI application programming interfaceARPU average revenue per userCLI command-line interfaceDPI deep packet inspectionGMPLS generalized multi-protocol label switchingL2 Layer 2L3 Layer 3L2-L4 Layers 2-4M-MGW Mobile Media GatewayMME Mobility Management EntityMSC-S Mobile Switching Center ServerNAT Network Address TranslationNMS network management systemONF Open Networking FoundationOSS/BSS operations and business support systemsPE provider edge devicePGW Packet Data Network GatewayRG residential gateway RWA routing and wavelength assignmentSDN software-defined networkingSGW Service GatewaySLA Service Level AgreementVHG virtual home gatewayVoIP voice over IPWAN wide area network2ERICSSON REVIEW • FEBRUARY 21, 2013New network abstraction layers
  3. 3. of the data plane (including SGW, PGWand M-MGW) and the control plane(including MME and MSC-S) was intro-duced. Now SDN has brought the con-ceptofsplitarchitecturetonetworking.As the business case proves, over thenext two to five years, SDN technologywillbedeployedinnetworksworldwide.Atthesame time,theneed to maintaintraditional operational principles andensure interoperability between SDNand more traditional networking com-ponents will remain. In the future,SDN will help operators to managescale,reducecostsandcreate­additional­revenuestreams.StandardizationThe goal of the Open NetworkingFoundation (ONF), which was estab-lished in 2011, is to expedite the stan-dardization of the key SDN interfaces.Today, the work being conducted byONF focuses on the continued evolu-tionoftheOpenFlowprotocol.ONFhasrecently established the ArchitectureandFrameworkWorkingGroup,whosegoal is to specify the overall architec-ture of SDN. The work carried out bythis group will guide future standard-izationeffortsbasedonstrategicusecas-es, requirements for data centers andcarrier networks, the main interfac-es, and their roles in the architecture.Ericsson is actively driving the work ofthisgroup,cooperatingwithotherorga-nizations to promote the evolution ofOpenFlow and support an open-sourceimplementation of the most recentspecifications.Otherstandardizationorganizations,most notably the IETF, have recentlybegun to extend their specificationsto support SDN principles. In IETF, theInterface to the Routing System (i2rs)WG and the recent activity of the PathComputation Element (PCE) WG willresult in standardized ways to improveflexibilityinchanginghowIP/MPLSnet-worksbehave.Thisisachievedthroughthe introduction of new interfaces todistributed protocols running in thenetwork,andmechanismstoadaptnet-work behavior dynamically to applica-tionrequirements.Inadditiontostandardizationorgani-zationsamultitudeofactivecommuni-tiesandopen-sourceinitiatives,suchasOpenStack, are getting involved in thespecificationofvariousSDNtools,work-ingonmaturingthenetworkingaspectofvirtualization.ArchitecturalvisionSplit architecture – the decoupling ofcontrol functions from the physicaldevicestheygovern–isfundamentaltotheconceptofSDN.Insplit-architecturenetworks, the process of forwarding inthedataplaneisseparatedfromthecon-troller that governs forwarding in thecontrol plane. In this way, data-planeand control-plane functions can bedesigned, dimensioned and optimizedseparately, allowing capabilities fromtheunderlyinghardwaretobeexposedindependently.This ability to separate control andforwardingsimplifiesthedevelopmentand deployment of new mechanisms,and network behavior becomes easi-er to manage, reprogram and extend.Deploying a split architecture, howev-er, does not remove the need for high-availability software and hardwarecomponents, as networks continue tomeet stringent carrier requirements.However, the decoupling approach toarchitecture will help rationalize thenetwork, making it easier to intro-duce new functions and capabilities.The ultimate goal of the SDN architec-ture is to allow services and applica-tions to issue requests to the networkdynamically, avoiding or reducing theneed for human intervention to createnewservices.This,comparedtotoday’spractices,willreducethetimetomarketof newservicesandapplications.The OpenFlow protocol2is support-ing the separation of data and controlplanes and allowing the path of pack-etsthroughthenetworktobesoftwaredetermined. This protocol provides asimple abstraction view of networkingequipment to the control layer. Splitarchitecture makes virtualization ofnetworking resources easier, and thecontrolplanecanprovidevirtualviewsofthenetworkfordifferentapplicationsandtenants.Ericsson has worked together withservice providers to understand theirneeds for SDN both in terms of reduc-ing costs and creating new revenueopportunities. Based on these discus-sions,Ericssonhasexpandedtheindus-try definition of SDN and customized ittofittheneedsofoperators.Ericsson’s hybrid approach – ServiceProvider SDN – extends industry def-initions including virtualization andOpenFlow with three additional keyenablers:integratednetworkcontrol;orchestratednetworkandcloudmanagement;andserviceexposure.Service exposureNorthbound APIs to allow networks to responddynamically to application/service requirementsIntegrated network controlControl of entire network from radio to edge tocore to data center for superior performanceOrchestrated network and cloud managementUnified legacy and advanced network, cloudmanagement system and OSS/BSS to implementSDN in step-by-step upgradeService provider needs:Service ProviderSDN• Accelerated serviceinnovation• Advanced public/hybridenterprise and consumercloud services• Improved QoE• Opex reduction throughcentralized management• Capex controlFIGURE 1 Service Provider SDN – components and promise3ERICSSON REVIEW • FEBRUARY 21, 2013
  4. 4. intothisunifiedorchestrationlayerpro-vides the necessary support for applica-tions and tenants to trigger automaticchanges in the network, ensuring opti-malQoSandguaranteeingSLAs.Unified and centralized orchestra-tionplatformsgreatlysimplifythepro-cess of configuring, provisioning andmanaging complex service networks.Instead of having to tweak hundreds ofdistributed control nodes using fairlycomplexCLIprogramming,operationsstaff can use simple intuitive program-ming interfaces to quickly adjust net-work configurations and create newservices. By accelerating the processof service innovation, Service ProviderSDNwillleadtoincreasedmarketshareand service ARPU, creating significantrevenue growth and possibly reducingannualchurnrates.A high-level network architecturethat supports the Service Provider SDNvisionisillustratedinFigure2.Service-providernetworkswillcombinedistrib-uted control plane nodes (traditionalrouters and appliances), and data-planeelements that are governed by central-izedelements–SDNcontrollers–inthecontrol plane. Consequently, to makeservice-providernetworksprogramma-ble,distributedandcentralizedcontrol-planecomponentsmustbeexposedtoaunifiedorchestrationplatform.Inaddi-tion, the key elements of the orches-tration platform and the control planeneedtobeexposedtonetworkandsub-scriberapplications/services.ApplicationexamplesThemajorusecasesorapplicationsofSDN in service-provider networks aresummarizedinFigure3.Oftheseappli-cations, the data center was the first tomakeuseofSDN.Ericsson’sapproachtothis is described in several articles pub-lishedinEricssonBusinessReview3andinEricssonReview4,5.SDN can be applied in the aggrega-tion network to support sophisticatedvirtualization and to simplify the con-figuration and operation of this net-work segment. Ericsson has developeda proof-of-concept system in coopera-tionwithTier1operatorstoevaluatetheapplicability of SDN to aggregation net-works. This work has been carried outas part of the European Commission’sSeventhFrameworkProgramme6.IntegratednetworkcontrolService providers will use SDN acrossthenetworkfromaccess,toedgetocoreand all the way into the data center.With integrated network control, oper-ators can use their network features,includingQoS,edgefunctionsandreal-time activity indicators to deliver supe-rioruserexperience.OrchestratednetworkandcloudmanagementServiceProviderSDNwillintegrateandunifylegacynetworkmanagementsys-tems with new control systems as wellas with OSS/BSS. The platform for inte-grated orchestration supports end-to-end network solutions ranging fromaccess over aggregation to edge func-tions as well as the data centers used todelivertelcoandenterpriseapplicationsandservices.ServiceexposureNorthbound APIs expose the orches-tration platform to key network andsubscriber applications and services.Together, the APIs and platforms allowapplication developers to maximizenetworkcapabilitieswithoutrequiringintimate knowledge of their topologyorfunctions.By expanding the perspective of SDNto include these three elements, ser-vice providers can evolve their exist-ing network to the new architecture toimprovetheexperienceoftheircustom-ers.ImplementingServiceProviderSDNshouldremovethedumbpipelabelgiv-ing operators an advantage over com-petitorsthatdonotownnetworks.NetworkvirtualizationOne of the benefits of Service ProviderSDN, especially from a network-­spanning perspective is network vir-tualization. Through virtualization,logical abstractions of a network canbe exposed instead of a direct repre-sentation of the physical network.Virtualizationallowslogicaltopologiestobecreated,aswellasprovidingawaytoabstracthardwareandsoftwarecom-ponents from the underlying networkelements, thereby separating controlfrom forwarding capabilities and sup-portingthecentralizationofcontrol.Unified orchestration platforms sup-portnetworkprogrammingatthehigh-est layer as programming instructionsflow through the control hierarchy –potentiallyallthewaydowntogranularchangesinflowpathsattheforwardingplane level. Adding northbound APIsApplicationControlForwardingApplicationControlForwarding(v) Control planeAPIs(such as OpenFlow)TenantsSDN controllerForwarding ForwardingIntegratedsystemsRouters PhysicalForwarding elementsEricsson NMS and cloud management systemVirtualSoftwareHardwareApplicationFIGURE 2 Service Provider SDN – architectural vision4ERICSSON REVIEW • FEBRUARY 21, 2013New network abstraction layers
  5. 5. Ericsson and Telstra have jointly devel-oped a service-chaining prototype thatleverages SDN technologies to enhancegranularity and dynamicity of servicecreation. It also highlights how SDNcan simplify network provisioning andimproveresourceutilizationefficiency.Packet-opticalintegrationisapopulartopicofdebate,outofwhichseveraldif-ferent approaches are emerging. Splitarchitecture provides a simple way tocoordinatepacketandopticalnetwork-ing;andsoSDN,enhancedwithfeaturessuchasroutingandwavelengthassign-ment (RWA) and optical impairmentsmanagement will be a natural fit forpacket-opticalintegration.Ericsson has started to develop solu-tions to virtualize the home gateway.Virtualization reduces the complexityof the home gateway by moving mostof the sophisticated functions into thenetwork and, as a result, operators canprolongthehomegatewayrefreshmentcycle, cut maintenance costs and accel-eratetimetomarketfornewservices.VirtualizationofaggregationnetworksThe characteristics shared by aggrega-tionandmobile-backhaulnetworksarea large number of nodes and relative-ly static tunnels – that provide trafficgrooming for many flows. These net-worksarealsoknownfortheirstringentrequirements with regard to reliabil-ity and short recovery times. BesidesL2 technologies IP and IP/MPLS is mak-ing an entrance as a generic backhaulsolution. From an operational point ofview, despite the availability of the dis-tributed control plane technology, thisnetworksegmentisusuallyconfiguredstatically through a centralized man-agement system, with a point of touchto every network element. This makesthe introduction of a centralized SDNcontrollerstraightforwardforbackhaulsolutions.Acontrolelementhostedonatelecom-grade server platform or on an edgerouter provides the operator with aninterface that has the same look andfeel as a single traditional router. Thedifferencebetweenoperatinganaggre-gation SDN network and a traditionalnetwork lies in the number of touchpoints required to provision and oper-ate the domain. In the case of SDN,only a few points are needed to controlthe connectivity for the entire net-work. Consider, for example, an access/­aggregation domain with hundreds oreven thousands of nodes running dis-tributed IGP routing protocols and theLabelDistributionProtocol(LDP)tocon-figure MPLS forwarding. In this case,SDNprinciplescanbeappliedtosimpli-fy and increase the scalability of provi-sioningandoperatingofsuchanetworkby pulling together the configurationof the whole network into just a fewcontrolpoints.Thecontrolelementtreatstheunder-lying forwarding elements as remotelinecardsofthesamesystemand,morespecifically, controls their flow entriesthrough the OpenFlow protocol. Withthis approach, any kind of connectivi-tymodelisfeasibleregardlessofwheth-er the forwarding node is L2 or L3 as,from a pure forwarding point of view,the same model is used in both flows.At the same time, network resilience atthe transport level can be implement-ed by adding protection mechanismsto the data path. The SDN controllercan pre-compute and pre-install back-up routes and then protection switch-ingishandledbythenetworkelementsfor fast failover. Alternatively, the SDNcontroller can reroute around failures,incasemultiplefailuresoccur,orinsce-nariosthathavelessstringentrecoveryrequirements.Fromtheoutside,theentirenetworksegment appears to be one big PE rout-erand,forthisreason,neighboringnet-work elements of the SDN-controlledarea cannot tell the difference (from aprotocolpointofview)betweenitandatraditional network. The network con-troller handles the interfacing processwith legacy systems for connection set-up.Additionalinformationonthispointcan be found in a presentation on theVirtualNetworkSystem7.Dynamicservice-chainingForinlineservices,suchasDPI,firewalls(FWs),andNetworkAddressTranslation(NAT), operators use different middle-boxesorappliancestomanagesubscrib-er traffic. Inline services can be hostedon dedicated physical hardware, or onvirtual machines. Service chaining isrequired to route certain subscribertrafficthroughmorethanonesuchser-vice.Therearestillnoprotocolsortoolsavailable for operators to perform flex-ible,dynamictrafficsteering.Solutionscurrently available are either static ortheir flexibility is significantly limitedbyscalabilityinefficiencies.Virtualization ofaggregation networkVirtual homegatewayPolicy-basedservice chainingPacket and opticalintegrationNetwork supportfor cloudCloud/datacenterMobileResidentalBusinessFIGURE 3 Application examples5ERICSSON REVIEW • FEBRUARY 21, 2013
  6. 6. Giventherateoftrafficgrowth,con-tinuedinvestmentincapacityforinlineservices needs to be managed careful-ly. Dynamic service-chaining can opti-mize the use of extensive high-touchservices by selectively steering trafficthrough specific services or bypassingthem completely which, in turn, canresult in capex savings owing to theavoidanceofover-dimensioning.Greater control over traffic andthe use of subscriber-based selectionof inline services can lead to the cre-ation of new offerings and new ways tomonetize networks. Dynamic servicesteering enables operators to offer sub-scribersaccesstoproductssuchasvirusscanning, firewalls and content filtersthroughanautomaticselectionandsub-scribeportal.This concept of dynamic servicechaining is built on SDN principles.Ericsson’s proof-of-concept system usesalogicallycentralizedOpenFlow-basedcontrollertomanagebothswitchesandmiddleboxes. As well as the traditional5-tuple, service chains can be differen-tiated on subscriber behavior, applica-tion, and the required service. Servicepaths are unidirectional; that is, differ-ent service paths can be specified forupstreamanddownstreamtraffic.Traffic steering has two phases. Thefirst classifies incoming packets andassigns a service path to them based onpredefined policies. Packets are thenforwardedtothenextservice,basedonthe current position in their assignedservice path. No repeating classifica-tion is required; hence the solution isscalable.TheSDNcontrollersetsupandrecon-figures service chains flexibly to anextent that is not possible with today’ssolutions.Thedynamicreconfigurationofservicechainsneedsamechanismtohandle notifications sent from middle-boxestothecontroller.Forexample,theDPI engine notifies the controller thatit has recognized a video flow. Thesenotifications may be communicatedusing the extensibility features of theOpenFlow1.xprotocol.Figure 4 summarizes service-­chaining principles. The VirtualNetwork System (VNS) is a domain ofthe network where the control plane iscentralizedwhichexcludessomeofthetraditionalcontrolagents.AsimpleAPI,such as OpenFlow, can be used to con-troltheforwardingfunctionalityofthenetwork,andtheVNScancreatenorth-bound interfaces and APIs to supportcreationofnewfeatures,suchasservicechaining, which allows traffic flows tobesteereddynamicallythroughservic-esorpartsthereofbyprogrammingfor-wardingelements.The services provided by the net-work may reside on devices located indifferent parts of the network, as wellas within an edge router – for example,on the service cards of Ericsson’s SmartServicesRouter(SSR).Servicechainsareprogrammedintothenetworkbasedonacombinationofinformationelementsfromthedifferentlayers(L2-L4andpos-siblyhigher).Basedonoperatorpolicies,variousservicescanbeappliedtotrafficflowsinthenetwork.Forexample,trafficmaypassthroughDPI and FW functions, as illustrated bythe red flow in Figure 4. However, oncethe type of the flow has been deter-mined by the DPI function, the opera-tor may decide to modify the servicesapplied to it. For example, if the flow isaninternetvideostream,itmaynolon-ger need to pass the FW service, reduc-ing load on it. Furthermore, after theservicetypehasbeendetected,thesub-sequent packets of the same flow mayno longer need to pass the DPI serviceeither;hencethepathoftheflowcanbeupdated – as indicated by the blue flowinFigure4.Packet-opticalintegrationThe increased programmability thatSDN enables creates an opportunity toaddress the challenges presented bypacket optical networking. SDN cansimplify multi-layer coordination andoptimizeresourceallocationateachlay-er by redirecting traffic (such as VoIP,video and web) based on the specificrequirementsofthetrafficandthebestservinglayer.Instead of a layered set of separatedmedia coordinated in a static manner,SDNcouldtransformthepacket-opticalinfrastructure to be more fluid, with aunified recovery approach and an allo-cation scheme based on real-time linkutilization and traffic composition.The ONF still has some work to do toadapt OpenFlow to cope with opticalconstraints.To speed up packet-optical inte-gration, a hybrid architecture can bedeployed where OpenFlow drives thepacketdomain,andtheopticaldomainremains under the control of GMPLS.This approach utilizes the extensiveoptical capabilities of GMPLS and,therefore, instead working to extendOpenFlow with optical capabilities, itallowsustofocusontheactualintegra-tion of optical and packet domains andapplicationsthatutilizetheflexibilityofaunifiedSDNcontroller.FIGURE 4 Service-chaining principlesVirtual Network SystemdomainFWDPI NAT FWDPISSRSDNswitchFlow beforeFlow afterSDNswitchSDNswitch6ERICSSON REVIEW • FEBRUARY 21, 2013New network abstraction layers
  7. 7. HomegatewaycontrolTheconceptofthevirtualhomegateway(VHG) introduces a new home-networkarchitecture primarily driven by con-sideration to improve service deliveryand management. The target architec-ture emerges by applying SDN capabil-ities between the residential gateway(RG) and the edge network – movingmost of the gateway’s functionalitiesinto an embedded execution environ-ment. Virtualizing the RG significant-ly reduces its complexity and providesthe operator with greater granularityinremote-controlmanagement,whichcan be extended to every home deviceandappliance.Asaresult,operatorscanreduce their investments significantlybyprolongingtheRGrefreshmentcycle,cutting maintenance costs and acceler-atingtimetomarketfornewservices.TheVHGconceptallowsoperatorstoofferseamlessandsecureremoteprofileinstantiationstretchingtheboundariesofahomenetworkwithoutcompromis-ing security. The concept provides thetoolstoconfigureandreconfiguremid-dleboxes dynamically, so that commu-nication between devices attached todifferent home networks can be estab-lished, and/or provide specific connec-tivity requirements for a third-partyservice provider – between, for exam-ple, a utility company and a particulardevice.ByembeddingSDNcapabilities,Ericsson’s concept enables operators tooffer personalized applications to sub-scriberseachwithitsownspecificchainofmanagementpoliciesand/orservices.The target architecture places an oper-ator-controlled bridge at the custom-er’s premises instead of a complexrouter, while the L3-L7 functionalitiesare migrated to the IP edge or into theoperator cloud. Using SDN technologybetween the IP edge and the switch inthiswayofferstheoperatorfine-grainedcontrol for dynamic configuration oftheswitch.ConclusionWithitsbeginningsindata-centertech-nology, SDN technology has developedto the point where it can offer signif-icant opportunities to service provid-ers.Tomaximizethepotentialbenefitsand deliver superior user experience,SDN needs to be implemented outsidethe sphere of the data center across theentire network. This can be achievedthroughenablingnetworkprogramma-bilitybasedonopenAPIs.Service Provider SDN will helpoperators to scale networks and takeadvantage of new revenue-­generatingpossibilities. The broader ServiceProvider SDN vision goes beyond lever-aging split architecture to include sev-eral software components that can becombined to create a powerful end-to-end orchestration platform for WANsanddistributedclouddatacenters.Overtime, this comprehensive software-based orchestration platform will beable to treat the overall operator net-workasasingleprogrammableentity.7ERICSSON REVIEW • FEBRUARY 21, 2013
  8. 8. Telefonaktiebolaget LM EricssonSE-164 83 Stockholm, SwedenPhone: + 46 10 719 0000Fax: +46 8 522 915 99284 23-3191 | UenISSN 0014-0171© Ericsson AB 2013Joe Wilkeis head of DevelopmentUnit IP BroadbandTechnology Aachen. Hecurrently leads the SDNexecution program and holds a degreein electrical engineering from theUniversity of Aachen, Germany and adegree in engineering and businessfrom the University of Hagen,Germany.Elisa Bellagambais a portfolio strategymanager in Product AreaIP Broadband, whereshe has been leading SDNrelated activities since their verybeginning. She holds an M.Sc. cumlaude in computer science engineeringfrom Pisa University, Italy.1. Ericsson, November 2012, Mobility Report, On the pulse ofthe Networked Society, available at: Open Networking Foundation, available at: Ericsson, November 2012, Ericsson Business Review, Thepremium cloud: how operators can offer more, available at: Ericsson Review, December 2012, Deploying telecom-gradeproducts in the cloud, available at: Ericsson Review, December 2012, Enabling the network-embedded cloud, available at: European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme,Split Architecture Carrier Grade Networks, available at: Elisa Bellagamba: Virtual Network System, MPLS Ethernet World Congress, Paris, February2012, available at: Takacsis a research managerin the PacketTechnologies ResearchArea of EricssonResearch. He has been the technicallead of research projects on SoftwareDefined Networks (SDN), OpenFlow,GMPLS, Traffic Engineering, PCE, IP/MPLS, Ethernet, and OAM fortransport networks. He is also anactive contributor to standardization;in particular he has worked for ONF,IETF and IEEE. He holds more than30 international patent applications;granted and in progress. He holds anM.Sc. in computer science and a post-graduate degree in bankinginformatics, both from the BudapestUniversity of Technology andEconomics, in Hungary. He has anMBA from the CEU Business School,in Budapest.The authors would like to thank Diego Caviglia, AndreasFasbender, Howard Green, Wassim Haddad, Alvaro de Jodra,Ignacio Más, Don McCullough and Catherine Truchan for theircontributions to this article.Acknowledgements