Software-defined networking (SDN) orchestration (or SDN orchestration) is the ability to program automated behaviors in a network to coordinate the required networking hardware and software elements to support applications and services.
SDN orchestration can start with customer service orders, generated by either manual tasks or customer-driven actions such as the ordering a service through a website. The application or service would then use SDN orchestration technology to provision the service. This might require setting up virtual network layers, server-based virtualization, or security services such as encrypted tunnel.
SDN orchestration platforms can include many types of proprietary or open source software, often built using common APIs that can tie into standard networking technologies. Some of the companies that supply or develop SDN orchestration tools include Anuta Networks, Big Switch, CENX, Cisco Systems, Cyan, Nuage Networks, Overture Networks, and UBIqube.
SDN orchestration often involves coordinating software actions with an SDN Controller, which can be built using open source technology such as OpenDaylight. The controller can also be programmed to make automate decisions about the network, in the case of traffic congestion, faulty devices, or security problems. SDN-based orchestration can use a number of network protocols including OpenFlow and IP-based networking.
SDN Orchestration Components
The most important element of SDN orchestration is the ability to monitor the network and automate connectivity. For this reason, it is considered one of the most promising growth areas of SDN networks. For example, research firm Rayno Report found in a report this year that global service providers are looking for software that integrates orchestration, fulfillment, control, performance, assurance, usage, analytics, security, and policy of enterprise networking services based on open and interoperable standards. This market, being described as lifecycle service orchestration (LSO), will climb to $1.75 billion by 2020, according to the Rayno Report on LSO.
Many service providers and cloud operators believe the emergence of new SDN orchestration tools will require an update of operation support systems (OSS) to be compatible for more open, interoperable SDN technologies. A recent survey conducted by the MEF and the Rayno Report indicated that 54.6 percent of operators regard their OSS systems as “outdated” with a need to be updated or overhauled, and 60 percent said they were lacking a capability to launch new services in a cost- and time-effective manner.
In the future, SDN orchestration systems will provide the important “glue” between a wide range of technologies that enable cloud-based network and communications services. It is expect that they will provide the coordination and automation technology that bridges the gap between telecom systems, data-center resources, OSS systems, and the customers looking to purchase cloud-based technology and network services.