Light Reading

DukeNet Takes SDN to Demo Phase

Carol Wilson
Repost This

Regional network operator DukeNet Communications is taking its early exploration of software-defined networking into the real world, launching a proof-of-concept demo to show how to use SDN to make the WAN more flexible in supporting datacenters. (See DukeNet to Demo SDN With Cyan.)

Working with vendors Cyan Inc. and Accedian Networks Inc. , the demo is intended to prove that DukeNet Communications can virtualize its network along with the virtual machines in datacenters to deliver flexible, on-demand services for its customers and show it can do so in fast response to growing demand, says David Herran, VP of network architecture and technology planning. It is still a lab demo, but is the prelude to a customer trial expected in the first quarter of 2014.

In the demo, an enterprise server requests additional cloud datacenter virtual machines and associated network resources using OpenStack application program interfaces and OpenFlow across the DukeNet network.

Herran and Brian Sutterfield, director of technology/principal technologist at DukeNet, which operates fiber optic networks in the Southeast region of the US, said in an interview with Light Reading that DukeNet's year-long exploration of SDN's benefits is very focused on real-world problems the carrier faces in connecting a large datacenter population in the region that stretches from Ashburn, Va., through Georgia. (See A View of SDN From the DukeNet Sandbox.)

"We made it clear to our vendors it is really important for us, because we do a lot of transport into datacenters, as well as carrier facilities, large enterprises and tower infrastructure… we are looking for operational efficiencies, and the ability to do end-to-end service automation for our customers, which is part of this demo," Herran said. "We need the ability to give them access to a portal and let them turn up virtual Ethernet services across the network and spin up virtual machines in the datacenter environment."

DukeNet has already automated its network, he adds, and is familiar with the concepts behind SDN. But today's tools are still vendor-specific and limited in scope. What SDN is promising is much more.

DukeNet chose to work with Cyan's BluePlanet SDN platform, which serves as the controller and proxies the compute and datacenter network demands to an OpenStack server in the cloud datacenter. Through element adapters, BluePlanet can perform the necessary functions to turn up services in the DukeNet network. That network includes Carrier Ethernet and optical edge devices from Accedian.

Ultimately, DukeNet would need element adapters for all of its network gear and functions. But that is not the only thing missing from a real-world SDN deployment. A billing system able to address on-demand services that turn up and turn down as needed is one key missing part, says Sutterfield.

DukeNet is a bit ahead of most other service providers in its SDN exploration. It has the benefit of operating a regional network that doesn't have as many generations of technology as some other networks, notes Joe Cumello, chief marketing officer at Cyan. But the network operator's goals for SDN are very similar to others: DukeNet wants to make its business more agile through service automation, faster provisioning times, and multi-vendor support, Cumello notes.

It isn't entirely certain what happens to DukeNet's SDN exploration when the company becomes part of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). That deal is expected to close in early 2014. The expectation is that the SDN expertise will be shared with the parent company and will continue to roll out within DukeNet's network, says spokesperson Ron Proleika. (See TWC Scoops Up DukeNet.)

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

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/19/2013 | 12:05:20 PM
What other demos will we see shortly?
I'm expecting to see more announcements like this - efforts by service providers to do real-world applications of the early SDN and NFV gear. 
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (3) comments

US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments

Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (6) comments

Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment

Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment

At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments

Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments

Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments

Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments

Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments

Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments

After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry's Chen: We're Not Dumping Devices
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/10/2014
AT&T's Going to Carolina With 1 Gig
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/10/2014
Cisco, Juniper Treating Gear Against Potential Heartbleed
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 4/11/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed