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The role and importance of automation in converged SDN transport networks

21 September 2021 | Research

Larry Goldman

Perspective | PDF (17 pages) | Service Design and Orchestration


"IP/optical convergence with network automation paves the way to transforming network economics."

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Consumers and enterprises continue to use innovative digital services that create increasing volumes of data traffic every day. As a result, service providers will need to redesign their network architecture to respond to customer demands for robust networks with high speeds and bandwidth, and reliable connectivity. Converged and automated transport networks could be a solution to simplifying network operations and optimising management workloads, therefore enabling service providers to rapidly launch new revenue-generating services and reduce network total cost of ownership (TCO).

Service providers are evolving their network architecture from traditional multi-layer networks to a converged transport network by integrating both optical and IP transport infrastructure to reduce complexity and cost of running separate network domains. These converged networks can be further enhanced by software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities to enable services such as network slicing and network as a service (NaaS) to improve the agility, flexibility and scalability of converged transport networks.

Automating the fulfilment and assurance processes of the converged SDN network will enable use cases such as closed-loop automation of operational workloads, automated service provisioning and network resource management to help service providers to improve operational efficiencies. Furthermore, SDN controllers can be built upon AI/ML-driven advanced data analytics to provide near real-time telemetry and network visibility for service providers to gain deeper insights into network performance and hence configure services based on shifting network capacity and customer needs.

Service providers that deploy automated converged IP/optical networks will simplify the planning, designing, deployment and operating stages of the network lifecycle process, benefit from increased capex and opex efficiency, and deliver innovative use cases to accelerate digital transformation across enterprises and industries.

The role and importance of automation in converged SDN transport networks

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