Design Driven Networking (DDN) is not a technology approach to solving network’s challenges. It is a standardization and process approach, irrespective of the chosen vendors and technologies, covering multiple domains. So how does DDN relate to concepts like SDN, DevOps and OSS systems?
Software Defined Networking (SDN) has gained a lot of interest in the market. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of confusion in the market what SDN is and what it is not.
The idea behind SDN is to separate the control plane from network devices, making them support standards (such as openflow, Netconf and Yang) and have software controllers and applications to ‘program’ them. At the same time, virtualization and network function virtualization (NFV) have emerged as alternatives.
Although these are great initiatives, the pitfall is they are all technology oriented and not focusing on standardization and process control. This is where Design Driven Networking complements SDN. In fact, one can say that Design Driven Networking is all about ‘Software Defined’. But instead of programming the network, DDN uses modelling and abstraction to operate SDN controllers, with the added value that processes, standards and architectures are enforced plus the ability to manage both traditional and SDN/virtual networks from one platform under one domain.
DevOps is a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and IT professionals. It aims to help organizations rapidly produce products and services.
DDN is best defined as DevOps for networking, whereby also architects, designers and process owners are added to the equation. Instead of having software developers program the network, architects, designers and process owners now use modeling to enforce their designs and desired processes in a simple way.
With DDN, DevOps extends to the business owners of the network. Only basic training is required for architects and process owners. Software developers are only needed for integration with other systems.
A vendor agnostic operating support system for networks has not been available in the past. With Design Driven Networking, (managed) Service Providers and Enterprises can now implement a true Network OSS system irrespective of vendors and technologies.
Using integrations with third party orchestration systems (e.g. for systems provisioning), customer portals or OSS/BSS systems (for order handling or service catalogues), DDN is perfectly positioned as the network OSS for automating and streamlining all network processes.