By Hassan Dakroub, Customer Solutions Architect
The wave of virtualization is catching up in every vertical of technology, and new protocols are being defined to improve functionality and management of emerging technologies. Software-defined Networking, or SDN, is one of those technologies. SDN was first used in data centers to configure network devices connecting virtual machines amongst themselves and the internet on a massive scale and is now being adapted into other applications and technologies.
Figure 1: SDN will not significantly reduce microwave CAPEX costs.
Software-defined networking (SDN) promises to drastically simplify how transport networks deploy, operate and get serviced. Reducing OPEX remains a significant factor for implementing software-defined networking. Automating service creation, traffic and bandwidth control, and network management as well as reducing maintenance complexity of routing protocols remain areas where it will simplify backhaul and lower OPEX. The only questions seem, “When will this happen?” and “How much will it save?” And what about CAPEX? Can we expect reduction in purchase price of microwave backhaul based on such a migration?
Without becoming reality, 5G mobile communications have already captured the imagination of operators and technology providers. So can the general public catch up with the hype soon? We’ll see. Meantime, behind-the-scenes mechanics of prepping for 5G continue, building on prior technologies. At each step of the evolution of backhaul infrastructure, different challenges cropped up.