Light Reading
New proof of concept builds on SDN-based API that allows traffic to burst on any layer of the network, on-demand.

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
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 Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed