Light Reading
The SDN pioneer wants to jump start work on network configuration data and topology models it considers crucial by contributing its work to the IETF.

Google to Open Key Network Models for Industry Comment, Standardization

Carol Wilson
6/17/2014
50%
50%

CHICAGO -- Light Reading's Big Telecom Event -- Google is opening the network configuration data and network topology models that it's been developing for years, publishing the model for comment and contributions by others.

Speaking in a keynote presentation here and in an interview afterward, Bikash Koley, principal architect and manager of network architecture at Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), said the Internet firm realized it needed the input of other large network operators to define vendor-neutral network data and network configuration models that will enable a "true software-defined network model" and a better Internet.

"We have been working on this for many years, but we realized that, if we have any hope of having a common description for networks and equipment, we need to open this up," Koley said in an interview after his speech. "We want to jump start this process, to get it moving, and we are absolutely open to working with other large carriers to get this done."

To that end, Google will make its models public, most likely this summer, and open for discussion in standards bodies, most likely starting with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) . The models are based on protocol buffer, a structured data format developed by Google that has an open format and has been published for general use.

The industry, Koley explained, talks a lot about the network data plane and the network control plane, but it tends to hand wave over the management plane in SDN. The management plane is extremely important, however, because it defines how services and applications are orchestrated. "In order to run a large infrastructure, you need abstraction. In order to implement abstraction, you need models," said Koley. "Those models don't exist in the network layer today." The network configuration and network topology models are essential to Google in its efforts to build multi-layer, vendor-neutral networks that allow carriers who swap traffic to do it more optimally and improve the end-user experience.

"We all benefit from a better Internet," he said.

In his keynote, Koley spoke in a rapid-fire keynote about SDN, or "as we call it at Google, just networking." The company's experience comes from rolling out its own wide-area software-defined network known as B4, a network that went into production in early 2011. (See How Do You Get to SDN From Here?.)

Through the B4 deployment process, Google discovered both the significant advantages of SDN – like the benefits of having a common network operating system and common network APIs – as well as the many areas where major technology gaps still exist.

Google has made limited progress in the management plane, where Netconf is a promising option but needs universal adoption, and very limited progress toward the standard network data model. In this arena, Yang as a data modeling language holds promise, but there still needs to be vendor-neutral ways to describe network/device configuration, he said, along with a standard network topology model.

In today's network, the network state is detected by information provided by routing devices, but those are based on vendor proprietary approaches. What's lacking is a vendor-neutral network model that also covers all the layers of the network, including legacy devices.

"The second thing we discovered is that, if you try to build a model which is multi-layer and scales to a global network with thousands of end points, you need a data structure and messaging format that is extremely optimized," he said. "We have tried doing it in Yang and UML [unified modeling language], but those are bulky, and it's hard to describe."

Ultimately, any device built for the network must match the network model and be standard, Koley said, in the same way that, in today's Windows world, devices built to predefined network and data models and can be plugged into a system easily and work from day one as expected.

One major benefit to major network operators of establishing these network configuration data and topology models is that it will make it easier for them to abstract their legacy network systems as part of the process of moving to virtualized networks. "We want a model that can describe anything from layer 0 to layer 7," he said.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading and Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
nwauters
50%
50%
nwauters,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/27/2014 | 4:11:48 AM
Why not reuse existing network models?
Any clue why TMF forum standards like MTNM or ITU recs  G.803/805 are not an option?

They are not recent but create a good multi layer and vendor neutral abstraction of the network allowing a.o to model the topology of the WAN. From layer 0 up to layer 2/3 they are quite powerfull and the basis of a lot of existing software.

Nico Wauters / NetworkMining
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/17/2014 | 7:26:47 PM
Re: Why now?
I'm not quite clear on what the last part of this means: ""We have tried doing it in Yang and UML [unified modeling language], but those are bulky, and it's hard to describe."

What exactly is hard to describe? 
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/17/2014 | 5:24:33 PM
Why now?
Models have existed in various forms and in various degrees of standardization. Will goog bring out its own devices too that supports them?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed