Light Reading

Open SDN Driving the Operator Market

Christopher Eldredge

The interest and discussion around software-defined networking (SDN) is rapidly increasing. Though the technology permeates numerous other network-driven industries, throughout most of the carrier market, it has now reached the researching and trialing stage. NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT) has taken it a step further and is deploying.

Open source is new to the operator market, but it is the way of the future as SDN makes its way more prominently to carrier networks.

The demands placed upon network operators are constantly increasing and forcing them to look into new technologies. The open environment surrounding SDN is a seemingly significant departure from the hardware-centric norm of the carrier market, but at a closer look, it may not be. Open-source programs are common in the enterprise, and virtualization and the cloud have become ubiquitous. Carriers have hosted enterprise clouds, provided for all these services, and are now looking into taking advantage of them.

OpenFlow is the natural choice for an open-source platform for network operators to deploy enterprise-class, SDN-based cloud solutions. Given the constant need for scalability in carrier networks, it makes perfect sense for operators to implement software-centric solutions. Operators are deploying SDN-based clouds around the world, and many lean on OpenFlow and the concept of more open network environments in general. The cloud has become the norm in business. Multiple sectors are turning to the flexibility of open software-based solutions. This trend holds especially true internationally.

As an example, one particular Japanese motor manufacturer was looking to migrate all information and communication technology (ICT) systems to an enterprise cloud, but since it is a multinational company with 140 group companies in 30 countries/regions around the world, the sheer magnitude of the migration made it extremely complex. Furthermore, most of the company's mission-critical systems, which encompass about 700 servers, are owned and operated primarily on premises in Japan, even though they are accessed by its group companies worldwide.

Migration to the cloud enabled this manufacturing company to cut ICT costs significantly by consolidating dispersed servers, networks, and other ICT systems on to cloud services. In choosing a cloud provider, the company sought a partner with flexible scalability, powerful backup capacity, and redundant datacenters in multiple low-risk locations. SDN is the key technology that enables cloud providers to deliver solutions that meet all these demands but remain cost efficient. OpenFlow-based SDN enables operators to optimize their networks for delivery of scalable, enterprise-class cloud solutions.

The transition to carrier network SDN is in a much earlier stage, but a joint project among Japanese companies is aiming to change that quickly.

The Open Innovation over Network Platforms R&D Project -- also known as the O3 Project -- is a groundbreaking joint effort among NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), NTT Com, Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), and Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA). It is the world's first R&D project that seeks to make a variety of WAN elements compatible with SDN. The project aims to achieve wide area SDN that will enable telecommunications carriers to reduce the time to design, construct, and change networks by approximately 90% when compared to conventional methods. The openness offered by the diverse SDN ecosystem already has permeated numerous network-driven industries, but this joint project marks the first steps taken publicly to bring it to mass adoption within the carrier market.

WANs support communications services across many types of networks, challenging operators to construct networks to meet a wide range of service requirements, including network performance, protocols, and processing, while starting services promptly. The resulting multi-layer networks are difficult and costly to manage.

The O3 project aims to establish virtualization technology that enables multiple carriers and service providers that share resources to construct and manage their networks to address the needs of their end users. At the same time, it aims to share and standardize research results globally, making some of the results open to the public and providing them to domestic and overseas telecommunications carriers and service providers and vendors. Embracing new technological innovations like this is a major key to maintaining a leadership position in any network-driven industry.

Christopher Eldredge is executive vice president of datacenter services at NTT America Inc.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
The edge router's days are numbered, argues Scott Sumner.
Don't panic – the platform isn't burning but is evolving quickly through open source, writes OPNFV director Heather Kirksey.
Cisco has once again set the bar and challenged the New IP networking sector by opening its doors and welcoming independent testing, something more vendors should be doing.
The communications industry is being turned on its head and not everyone will survive.
Cord cutting is a real and present threat to pay-TV, but it has been an erosion, not a landslide.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (2) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (1) comment

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Electric Power Summit 2015 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

11|16|15   |   1:28   |   (0) comments

Huawei, together with Ethiopia's Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, hosted the Huawei Electric Power Summit 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event gathered industry experts and senior executives of global electric power companies to discuss emerging industry trends including: improvements in new energy conversion efficiency, reduction of line losses ...
Between the CEOs
Mobily on Bringing Innovation to Saudi Arabia

11|13|15   |     |   (2) comments

Mobily CEO Ahmad Farroukh talks to Steve Saunders about the realities of being a mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Sprint Undercuts Rivals With Half-Price Offers
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/18/2015
Routers Are Facing Extinction: Let’s Not Save Them
Scott Sumner, VP solutions marketing, Accedian Networks, 11/18/2015
Sprint, Verizon Face Reorganization, Job Cuts
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/20/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Mobily CEO Ahmad Farroukh talks to Steve Saunders about the realities of being a mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.