A reality check for SDN in progress towards 5G network virtualisation

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

What exactly is SDN, where has it come from and is anyone actually applying it to mobile telecoms networks in practice? This event is part of the nationwide 5G week and supported by UK5G

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About the event

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is frequently highlighted as a key enabler to crucial 5G concepts like network slicing or network elasticity and programmability.  It is claimed that SDN will provide a more open, flexible and efficient way of using network resources which will deliver benefits including:

  • Less over dimensioning of equipment and related cost efficiencies
  • Added network resilience with the ability to adapt to issues in the network and re-direct traffic flows
  • Requirements for more open interfaces and hence more choice of vendors for network equipment
  • More customisable services to fit the needs of particular user groups rather than a one size fits all network

But what exactly is SDN, where has it come from and is anyone actually applying it to mobile telecoms networks in practice? 

As a technology, SDN has been around since the emergence of the OpenFlow protocol in 2008 and is already offered in data centres by large vendors like Cisco and VMWare.  However, while this technology is applied in datacentres and fixed networks already, how widely has it been deployed in mobile networks in practice? 

This event will open with a brief primer on SDN to explain what it is and where it has come from.  There will then be two presentations exploring the use of SDN in commercial telecoms networks and the road towards its usage in wireless networks (and more specifically, virtualised 5G networks).  We will hear from an organisation who have actively been deploying SDN to understand their experience of this technology in reality and the path that a telco might need to take to embrace SDN as a key component of its infrastructure, architecture and services.  Our second speaker will highlight the barriers to SDN deployments in wireless telecoms networks and key obstacles that need to be overcome if SDN is to become a key component of the ideal of 5G fully virtualised networks.

The event will include an opportunity for attendees to network virtually via the Remo platform.

This event is supported by UK5G as part of the 5G Week.

5G Week - Driving the Business Case
This week of activities will provide value for all the involved organisations and generally push forward the 5G ecosystem. The creation of a 5G Week gives a focal point for industry and media as the 5G Programme proceeds and also for 2020 company marketing programmes.

You can follow @cambwireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWVN.

Supported by UK5G

The national innovation network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the commercial application of 5G in the UK.

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Agenda

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.

15:00

Introduction to the CW, UK5G & Virtual Networks Group, Justin Paul

15:10

Software Defined Networking (SDN) overview: Amit Ghadge, Director Product Manager, Parallel Wireless

Amit will provide a short overview of SDN. What is SDN? What are its advantages? And what are its use cases?

15:15

The journey to becoming a software defined telco; Fahim Sabir, Director Architecture & Development, Network On Demand, Colt Technology Services

This talk will look at Colt’s journey to now in introducing and harnessing the value of Software-Defined Network technologies and what we’ve learnt along the way, as well as how we plan to evolve.

15:30

SDN/VNF in the 'Real World'; Oliver Cantor, Associate Director – Verizon Global Products, Verizon Business Group

Verizon have invested heavily over the last 5+ years in SDN/NFV technologies and implemented these services for many of the largest global companies in the world. But what is the reality at ground level? This talk will look at some real-world challenges with SDN/NVF such as: is there one single Orchestration device/platform out there? Why are there so many SDWAN vendors? Does the holy grail of 'Zero-Touch Provisioning' really exist? and many more...

15:45

Who cares about virtual networks?; Matt Pooley, Practice Lead – Virtualisation, STL Partners

Network operators are deploying SDN, as well as other telco cloud tech: NFV, automation, and so on. But, to date, we have seen little of the agility, flexibility and efficiency that virtualisation promised. Some are asking “who cares?” We will explore why SDN and telco cloud still matter, why they haven’t delivered and what needs to change. And – with operators investing heavily in 5G – why now is the time to act.

16:00

Panel session with all speakers chaired by SIG champion, Julie Bradford, Real Wireless

16:15

Event wrap up and networking in Remo

16:30

Event closes

Speakers

Julie Bradford - Techno-economic assessment of wireless options and strategies, Real Wireless

Julie has worked in the wireless industry for over 15 years.  At Real Wireless, she is a thought leader in 5G business case analysis including understanding 5G use cases, quantifying (in financial terms) the operational and socio-economic benefits of 5G services and understanding network dimensioning and cost implications under 5G virtualised networks.

She has most recently led Real Wireless’ techno-economic analysis on the EC Horizon 2020 5G-MoNArch project.  Inspired by the project’s smart sea port testbed constructed by HPA, Nokia and DT in the Port of Hamburg, this analysis included quantifying the operational benefits of 5G to port authorities and other port users and the cost implications of delivering these industrial grade wireless services from existing mobile infrastructure via network slicing supported via the virtualised 5G-MoNArch network architecture.

Previously, Julie was Communications Engineer at QinetiQ UK, consultant at PA Consulting UK, and Senior Systems Engineer for Airvana UK. 

Oliver Cantor - Associate Director, Verizon Global Products, Verizon

Oliver Cantor has worked for Verizon for more than 21 years and currently works across Verizon’s Enterprise portfolio (LTE/5G, Network/SDN, Security/Zero-Trust & Advanced Comms). Today he concentrates on advising Enterprise customers on Digital Transformation, Application Enablement and Agile working practices. Oliver speaks for Verizon at industry events on Digital Transformation and Product Strategy.

Previous positions at Verizon include Head of Engineering & Planning for Voice/VoIP networks in Europe, and Head of Access Products – Verizion Business Group.

Recent examples of industry events where Oliver has spoken include TM-Forum, SDN World Congress, DevOps Enterprise Summit, ONUG (Open Networking User Group).

Before joining Verizon Oliver worked for Ericsson as a Group Manager in software development, designing, coding and testing digital telephone exchange systems.

Amit Ghadge - Senior Director Product Manager, Parallel Wireless UK & EMEA

A Telecom industry professional with 20+ years of experience in various domains like Telecom and Datacom domains and in different roles like Engineering, Product Management and Product Owner. Amit has worked with well-known Telecom/Datacom vendors like Parallel Wireless, Cisco, Starent, Huawei & CoSystems.  As a Product Manager Amit has managed 5G Packet Core Solution, OpenRAN RIC, CUPS Gateway, LTE EPC Gateway products like GGSN, PGW, SGW & SAE-GW. He has witnessed several different evolutions of Mobile Packet Core solution and has several US Patents in Mobility.

Matt Pooley - Practice Lead - Virtualisation, STL Partners

Matt leads STL Partners’ consulting and research activity around network virtualisation. He works with leading operators and tech companies across the globe on understanding the telco cloud opportunity, strategies and routes to deployment. His particular interest is how NFV has delivered (or not!) on its grand promises. Matt speaks regularly at industry events, and has authored research on topics as broad as innovation, network experience, and SD-WAN deployment models.

Fahim Sabir - Director Architecture and Development, Network On Demand, Colt Technology Services Ltd

Fahim Sabir is responsible for Colt's delivery of next generation connectivity service platforms, specializing in SDN and NFV technologies. He has almost two decades experience in telecoms, managed IT and network services, and cloud computing, focusing on the architecture, development and operation of complex platforms, with a keen interest in orchestration, automation and interoperability.

SIG Champions

Julie Bradford - Techno-economic assessment of wireless options and strategies, Real Wireless

Julie has worked in the wireless industry for over 15 years.  At Real Wireless, she is a thought leader in 5G business case analysis including understanding 5G use cases, quantifying (in financial terms) the operational and socio-economic benefits of 5G services and understanding network dimensioning and cost implications under 5G virtualised networks.

She has most recently led Real Wireless’ techno-economic analysis on the EC Horizon 2020 5G-MoNArch project.  Inspired by the project’s smart sea port testbed constructed by HPA, Nokia and DT in the Port of Hamburg, this analysis included quantifying the operational benefits of 5G to port authorities and other port users and the cost implications of delivering these industrial grade wireless services from existing mobile infrastructure via network slicing supported via the virtualised 5G-MoNArch network architecture.

Previously, Julie was Communications Engineer at QinetiQ UK, consultant at PA Consulting UK, and Senior Systems Engineer for Airvana UK. 

Mark England - Associate Director, Cambridge Consultants

Mark England has spent three decades architecting, designing, and implementing a wide variety of wired and wireless communications products, services, systems and protocols; from short range point to point systems to those which operate on a global scale. Mark joined Cambridge Consultants in 2000, and for the past 20+ years he has been providing leading edge design, development and consultancy services to wide range of clients. 

Andrew Palmer - Consulting Director, CGI

Andrew has more than 31 years of experience in IT, Telecoms and TV and Media, having worked in various roles for IBM, AT&T, Ericsson, Motorola and Arris. Andrew's present role is to leverage existing CGI capabilities that match the needs of our clients in the Telecoms sector, as well as building new capabilities that will support the emerging and changing needs of our client base. Andrew has proven experience in developing and delivering complex SI and Services solutions that meet both business and technology needs.

Andrew has co-authored "UK Telecoms For Dummies", an essential guide to the complicated UK Telecoms sector as well as articles for publications such as the Cambridge Wireless Journal including "How do we build the new world of 5g?". He frequently speaks at conferences and provides media commentary on industry topics like 5G, IoT and Smart Cities, as well as being a member of the Digital Policy Alliance’s Smart Society Working Group, techUK Spectrum Policy Forum and the Cambridge Wireless Virtual Networks Special Interest Group.

Justin Paul - Senior Marketing Manager, Ericsson

Justin has over twenty years’ experience in technology marketing in the telecoms and software industries. Prior to joining Ericsson Digital Services he worked for Zeetta Networks, Huawei Technologies in NFV/SDN Marketing and Amdocs where he led the launch of their NFV Portfolio which now forms a major part of the ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform). During his career he has been responsible for the launch and go-to-market for a number of leading-edge technologies including 3G, IPTV, LTE, NFV and 5G. A TED-trained conference speaker he has presented at a number of major international conferences including Layer 123 SDN and Openflow Congress, LTE Asia and SCTE. A CIM qualified marketeer he runs a Bristol-based Digital Marketing knowledge-sharing group.

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