Light Reading

ADVA Claims SDN First

Carol Wilson
9/16/2013
50%
50%

In what they are billing as a first-of-its-kind demonstration, ADVA Optical Networking teamed with IBM and Marist College last week to demonstrate the ability to automatically reconfigure wavelengths on an optical transport network connecting three datacenters, based on application triggers. (See ADVA Claims Virtualized Optical Network First.)

Using software defined networking (SDN) and OpenFlow-based control, including an open-source SDN application developed by Marist College scientists, the demonstration was able to automatically set up and tear down wavelengths among three datacenters, along with spinning up virtual machines, in a matter of five minutes. That replaces a process that normally takes carriers days or weeks, says Todd Bundy, director, Global Alliances, ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) .

"To do this today, you would go to your optical group and get them to provision a wavelength, then you have to go to your Layer 2-Layer 3 switch group, the LAN guys, then to people who manage the virtualized server environment," Bundy says. "For our customers, that can take weeks, even months."

The ADVA-IBM-Marist demo accomplished that process, including the Layer 1 optical portion, in a matter of minutes without any people, based on application triggers, Bundy says.

The demonstration is one of many efforts by vendors in the SDN and network functions virtualization arenas to show the practicality of virtualization and that it is within the grasp of network operators. (See Ciena Rallies Research Nets for SDN Demo and New Group Ties NFV to the Cloud.)

This demo used an SDN test bed at Marist, along with three geographically diverse datacenters in which IBM's switching, server, and storage technology was deployed. The datacenters were connected by an optical network based on ADVA FSP 3000s, using colorless and directionless re-configurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMS).

This type of functionality could enable enterprises to get pay-as-you-go bandwidth in addition to cloud computing and storage, says Casimir DeCusatis, Distinguished Engineer, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). Other immediate applications include more efficient use of network resources, replacement of costly one-for-one network backup architectures with 1XN pools of dynamic wavelengths, and much more effective disaster recovery.

"We see a tremendous interest in the market from our clients who want to run dynamic workloads, which is very different from five to 10 years ago, DeCusatis says. Both inside the datacenter and among datacenters, network connections need to be as dynamic as computing and storage resources have become in the cloud era.

Both DeCusatis and Bundy say they believe theirs is the first demonstration of its kind that goes all the way down to Layer 1, the optical layer, in making resources dynamic. It is possible to use today's existing network resources at that layer and add dynamic reconfiguration capabilities with software, DeCusatis says.

The other key piece to the demo is that it is based on open-source software, Bundy says.

The initial benefits of dynamic reconfiguration of network resources favor enterprises more than service providers, the two men admit, but in the longer run being able to run more efficient networks that aren't overbuilt for backup purposes and offer new services such as advanced disaster recovery will pay off as well for network operators.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
ANON1246023630449
50%
50%
ANON1246023630449,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/17/2013 | 2:20:55 PM
More details on this demo...
Thanks to everyone for their comments so far!  Regarding a few of the questions raised on this thread:  this demo was actually done using the Floodlight open source SDN controller, since Open Daylight wasn't available at the time we started this work months ago.  Both IBM and Adva are active members of Open Daylight, and we plan to incorporate that controller into our next round of testing.  Also, note that there were several types of code interacting during this demo:  (1) Avior (open source SDN management GUI written by Marist College) (2) Advalanche (orchestrates Adva optical gear from OpenFlow SDN controller)  (3) Ganglie (open source code which senses & triggers VM migration when the server exceeds a certain load factor) and of course VMWare and the open source SDN controller. 

Today it can take days to provision resources within a single large data center network, and weeks to provision the WAN.  This demo shows the capability to do both in minutes, roughly the same timeframe that we can spin up a new VM on the server.  This is significant because we are finally reaching the point where the network provisioning within and between data center is no longer a bottleneck to deploying new services.  As an added bonus, we accomplish this with open standards (OpenFlow) running both data center & WAN interfaces, automated reprovisioning, and a wireless network controller (iPad).  This should be of interest to data centers and telco/SP users trying to contain capital expense and automate network provisioning; the business case is quite easy, much like the case for virtualizing a server vs running static workloads. 

If you don't have one of the many OpenFlow compatible network devices on the market (including embedded switches in IBM PureSystems), then you can still get some benefit from a virtual overlay network, such as DOVE, which we plan to explore in a future research project. 
JimTheodoras
50%
50%
JimTheodoras,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/17/2013 | 11:41:43 AM
The possibilities are mindboggling.
While I think there are plenty of end customers who could use this type of capability, let's not forget the Service Providers themselves would greatly benefit from this type of flexibility. While the mega data center operators get all the attention, the SP's themselves have built huge clouds of both compute and storage resources.

Even if the SP's were simply connecting other vendors data centers, they still run into data storms that bring network links to their knees. Verizon has been very vocal about using SDN for the "follow the sun" use case.

I'm with Dan, here. I think Service Provider relevance could happen quicker than most people might guess.

But, let's not trivialize the Data Center drivers either. Their databases have outgrown their mega data centers; their traffic demand is ridiculously volatile. A huge amount of their transport is load balancing, replication, and duplication.

As for why "OpenDaylight" was not mentioned, I assume to call the SDN controller an OpenDaylight controller would mean a stable load was available and some sort of certification or approval was obtained to use their name. As suggested, since ADVA and IBM are both members, I'm sure there were synergies there.

I guess I'm a big picture kind of guy, because for me the main takeaway was seeing true multilayer optimization of a flow, by an external open source controller no less. The possibilities are mindboggling.
sdnoptics
50%
50%
sdnoptics,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/16/2013 | 7:15:45 PM
Re: OpenDaylight anyone?
Hiya Ping, 

Opendaylight has indeed been taken into consideration. We'll just have to stay on our toes until the first stable release of Opendaylight. 

 
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/16/2013 | 1:33:20 PM
OpenDaylight anyone?
Curious if the OpenDaylight effort figured into this demo since both IBM and ADVA are members of that group.
Dredgie
50%
50%
Dredgie,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/16/2013 | 11:55:13 AM
Re: Step one, the technology....
Heya, Ray - I think you are assuming this is a complete network overhaul (forklift upgrade) when the chances are it's not. With Multilayer Carrier SDN implementations like this, only the edge devices are new. The (PCE / OpenFlow) SDN controller chucks provisioning commands down to the new edge device via OpenFlow OF-CONFIG, in this case – though it could be PCEP (w/extensions), PCEP + OpenFlow OF-CONFIG... or something else (YANG/NETCONF?). The edge devices then provision the core using existing techniques (i.e. GMPLS, RSVP). The Core switches don't have to talk to the SDN controller at all – they are pretty much oblivious to the SDN nature of the provisioned paths. That's the theory, at least! :-)
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
9/16/2013 | 10:57:22 AM
Service provider relevance
I wonder if the service provider relevance of a trial like this will come into play sooner than anyone thinks--though I guess that would be a safer thing to say if a service provider were involved in a trial like this.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
9/16/2013 | 10:56:57 AM
Step one, the technology....
I guess step two is the business case -- would a network operator need a lot of customers requiring such capabilities before this became worthwhile? 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Charter Plans Business Services, Wireless Push
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/27/2015
Will Carriers Follow Facebook's Networking Lead?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
Cats with Phones