Light Reading
The O3 Project is an operator-led R&D initiative that seeks to make a variety of WAN elements compatible with SDN.

Open SDN Driving the Operator Market

Christopher Eldredge
3/3/2014
100%
0%

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
More Blogs from Column
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
Carriers are being left out of purchases made on mobile phones, but they have the opportunity to get back in the value chain for both physical and virtual buys.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will provide a major challenge for network operators, but SDN and NFV can help.
With the high cost of achieving carrier-grade networks, is high availability good enough?
Open is possible, definable and important, because an environment of freedom is a superior construct.
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
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
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed