Vendors are taking a variety of approaches to developing SDN controllers, ranging from proprietary/single vendor to open source/multi-vendor. The latter approach has numerous benefits in terms of time to market and robustness of code. An open source approach also eliminates vendor lock-in – a key criteria for telcos.
This white paper is structured as follows:
• Section I discusses the current state of the service provider networking en- vironment. We look at the main drivers for deploying SDN, including en- hanced service creation and delivery capabilities and better utilization of network assets.
• Section II discusses the role of SDN controllers and how they interact with the other elements of an open network platform, including the network OS to the south and virtualized infrastructure management and orchestration to the north. Particular attention will be paid to the importance of open application programming interfaces (APIs) for ensuring interoperability and manageability across multiple vendors' equipment.
• Section III looks at evaluation criteria for controllers, including the business benefits of a solution based on open source components versus procuring a solution based on proprietary components.