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Automation in the WAN: the critical role of multi-layer, multi-vendor SDN control platforms

Gorkem Yigit Senior Analyst, Research

"A common understanding and a blueprint architecture of the new operational stack for SDN-based automation has emerged due to the increased progress in SDN, network virtualization and orchestration over the last couple of years."

FREE WHITE PAPER

Automation in the WAN: the critical role of multi-layer, multi-vendor SDN control platforms

Operators are increasingly embracing software-defined networking (SDN) across their networks, from data centres to wide-area networks (WANs) and the customer edge, as part of their automation journeys. Many operators worldwide are focusing their investments on using SDN to automate WANs in order to increase the efficiency of their network operations and to deliver the level of service agility and on-demand, customer-empowered experience that is required for 5G and enterprise services.

This white paper discusses the emerging blueprint architecture of the new operational stack for SDN-based automation in the light of the progress made by leading operators, industry standardization bodies and vendors. It introduces the three-layer hierarchical model that is being adopted by operators for implementing SDN control in WANs and analyses the key role that centralized multi-layer, multi-vendor WAN SDN control platforms play in this architecture. Finally, the paper outlines the key functionalities and architectural requirements that operators should look for when building their multi-layer WAN SDN control platforms, and provides an overview of the vendor landscape with an analysis of the main strengths and weaknesses of various vendor groups.