Facebook is looking at software defined networking as a means of overcoming network problems, the digital company has revealed, but said it does not view the technology as a cure all for its issues.

The social network company’s Infrastructure Software Engineering Manager Omar Baldonado revealed that its network hits limits and that he has to explain to product teams why they will have to wait to launch their latest offering as the network is not capable of handling it yet.

Telecoms companies have long been criticised for the length of time it takes to bring a new product to market and will be comforted to hear that Facebook face similar challenges.

However, Baldonado warned that this emerging technology should not be viewed as a panacea. Speaking at the SDN & NFV summit in Nice on Tuesday, Baldonado said: “Our physical network has a lot of complexity. It’s a beast for us to operate.

“SDN can be applied to help with this but there’ll never be a totally ‘clean’ network. We’re doing SDN a disservice by saying it will solve everything.”

In short, he explained that networks are always in transition and the introduction of the technology will not change things overnight.

Given operators’ legacy infrastructure, Baldonado admitted that Facebook has a “much simpler problem” on its hands than its telecoms rivals, but said his warning still stood.

He also claimed it is not too late for operators to start innovating with SDN: “Telcos have to embrace [SDN] and get started.”

However, he advised that the focus should not be fully focused on the technology: “Train your folks. [Transforming to SDN] is a big thing for your people too.”

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