Light Reading

SDN Powers AT&T, IBM On-Demand Cloud Connections

Carol Wilson
7/29/2014
100%
0%

Software-defined networking is at heart of a new solution developed by AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences (ACS) that can very quickly provision temporary bandwidth to handle massive traffic flows between data centers. The partners say capacity can be turned up on-demand in less than a minute, compared with the multiple days such a move would take using current network capabilities. (See AT&T, IBM, Others Team on Elastic Cloud-to Cloud Networking .)

Developed as part of the U.S. Government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Dynamic Multi-Terabit Core Optical Networks (CORONET) program, the proof-of-concept uses an SDN orchestrator developed by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) to enable on-demand bursting of traffic between data centers using whichever layer of the network is most appropriate, whether it's the IP/MPLS layer, the optical transport layer, or a wavelength.

The solution was designed to replace the rigid private line WAN infrastructure that cloud service providers use today to connect most data centers. It also enables a new kind of on-demand traffic bursting, beyond the capabilities AT&T is providing with its NetBond service, and beyond what other service providers offer with their bandwidth-on-demand solutions, says Bob Doverspike, executive director of Network Evolution Research at AT&T Labs . (See AT&T Working on Home-Grown SDN Controller for Later in 2014 .)

As part of its User-Defined Network Cloud, AT&T wants to provide the ability to support massive data backup between data centers, for storage area network synchronization, recovery from large weather or environmental events, and to support other large customer events, he says. For the proof of concept demonstration, AT&T connected IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)'s orchestration software and hypervisors, used by cloud service providers, to the network orchestrator developed in its lab via an SDN interface, and allowed the orchestrator to decide which layer of the network was best suited to carry specific traffic. (See AT&T Working on Home-Grown SDN Controller for Later in 2014 .)

"We then used smart routing algorithms to decide how to route it efficiently over that layer," Doverspike says. The connections can be built up and taken down as needed and used to connect any data center on the network to any other data center, replacing multiple rigid private line connections in the process.

This approach, which was built on OpenStack's open cloud computing platform, takes advantage of the fact that AT&T offers all three layers of WAN network connectivity -- the IP/MPLS layer, the OTN layer and the physical dense wave division multiplexing layer -- and can dip into its network resources to give cloud service providers a much greater ability to burst up to support large network events without having to pay for a rigid network infrastructure that otherwise isn't fully utilized.

The demonstration used common equipment and network management from a data center -- in this case, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) gear was used, Doverspike says -– and IBM cloud network orchestrators, as well as AT&T infrastructure. The SDN interface developed in the AT&T lab connected the IBM orchestrators and the network, and was set up as an applications programming interface (API) that defined the types of bandwidth that could be requested, the duration and quality of connection, and the distance. ACS provided project management for the effort.

"By defining the API, we now have a rapid way to request the bandwidth using automatic software -- this is not a manual process," Doverspike explains.


Want to know more about SDN? Check out our dedicated SDN content channel here on Light Reading.


AT&T also used SDN technology -- either from its vendors or, where that wasn't available, internally developed -- to control each of the three layers of the network. The carrier is looking to implement Open Daylight in this area as that SDN controller technology becomes available, adds the AT&T man.

AT&T is already using SDN to deliver its optical mesh network service at the Layer 1 level, but that is a process that isn't as fast, and only functions at that layer. It was by building on that earlier work that AT&T took this project in the direction of SDN, says Chris Rice, vice president, advanced technologies, at AT&T Labs, because that wasn't where the DARPA project was originally headed. (See AT&T Spotlights Early SDN Efforts.)

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

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Roland Leners
50%
50%
Roland Leners,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/4/2014 | 2:58:02 AM
OSS implications
I would be interested in any references on the OSS implications of this solution, especially for service assurance.
OptSim
50%
50%
OptSim,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/1/2014 | 9:28:41 AM
Re: SDN Powers AT&T, IBM On-Demand Cloud Connections
With respect to the comment by the AT&T exec at the very end of the article: the CORONET program was initiated in 2006, prior to the emergence of SDN.  SDN can be viewed as one enabler of the CORONET dynamic networking vision.

A dynamic network infrastructure will likely fuel the development of more applications, such as those described in this article, that can take advantage of such dynamism.

-----------------------

More information on DARPA's CORONET Program can be found at:

CORONET Publications: http://www.monarchna.com/CORONETPapers.html

CORONET Network Topology File: http://www.monarchna.com/topology.html

Many of the CORONET innovations, as well as SDN, are discussed in the chapter on dynamic networking in the newly released book "Optical Network Design and Planning, 2nd Ed."
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 1:31:55 PM
Re: SDN Powers AT&T, IBM On-Demand Cloud Connections
@OptSim, thanks much!  That is great information!
OptSim
50%
50%
OptSim,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/31/2014 | 12:38:03 AM
Re: SDN Powers AT&T, IBM On-Demand Cloud Connections
More information on DARPA's CORONET Program can be found at:

CORONET Publications: http://www.monarchna.com/CORONETPapers.html

CORONET Network Topology File: http://www.monarchna.com/topology.html

Many of the CORONET innovations, as well as SDN, are discussed in the chapter on dynamic networking in the newly released book "Optical Network Design and Planning, 2nd Ed."  (http://www.monarchna.com/book.html)

 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 6:45:43 PM
Re: SDN Powers AT&T, IBM On-Demand Cloud Connections
Carol, very impressive project and demonstration of the power of SDN.  This appears to be a really "smart" move that will provide highly competitive connection capabilities.

It's hard to imagine, if they bundle/price this correctly, that customers won't demand this capability.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
MWC: Let the Madness Begin
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.