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OIF/ONF Efforts Could Speed Transport SDN

Carol Wilson

New transport SDN prototype testing this fall, to be conducted in two carrier labs in North America and two in China, could provide crucial insight on specifications needed to speed deployment of SDN in connecting data centers and cloud networks.

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and the Open Networking Foundation are cooperating on the tests, which are being conducted in labs provided by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T), China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA). Results will be provided at three global events beginning October 7 at Verizon's Waltham facility. (See OIF & ONF Join Forces to Test Transport SDN.)

The tests will combine prototype specs developed by the ONF's optical transport working group as extensions to OpenFlow, with work from the OIF's Carrier Working Group on requirements for interfaces from SDN controllers in seeing how transport SDN can deliver bandwidth-on-demand in support of cloud services.

Our NFV & the Data Center event digs deeper into how telecom service providers are evolving their data center strategies. Learn more on our event site here on Light Reading.

The OIF and ONF have been cooperating for more than a year, notes John Sadler, a Coriant exec who is vice-chair of the OIF's technical committee and chair of the interoperability working group managing the prototype tests.

"We are working on this prototype as we move forward from SDN transport as an interesting idea to gaining practical experience trying to put it to use in offering new services more quickly," Sadler tells Light Reading in an interview.

With both groups providing prototype specs for their segment of the infrastructure "not as standards but as potentially good starting points," the intent is to see what is still needed to be developed in terms of specs and deployment guidelines, he notes. "We want to bring all these pieces together to try and get the experience needed and use that to develop specifications" that can enable practical deployments down the road.

The prototype tests, which are also being supported by the KDDI Corp. R&D Laboratories, Orange (NYSE: FTE) and China Academy of Telecommunications Research, are the latest example of industry-wide cooperation to bring new networking technologies such as SDN and NFV to reality more quickly. (See Telefónica Proves Brocade Router Performs for NFV, Telefónica Proves Brocade Router Performs for NFV, Let's Federate Our NFV Labs – Telefónica and Will Carriers Step Up to Open Challenge?)

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

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