& cplSiteName &

NEC Intros SDN 'Controller of Controllers'

Mitch Wagner
3/3/2014
50%
50%

NEC America today introduced a Unified Network Coordinator designed to allow users to manage multiple datacenters as a single network.

"What we're announcing here is a controller of controllers to be able to scale out OpenFlow domains to allow for both intra-datacenter and inter-datacenter scaling of capacity," Don Clark, NEC America Inc. director of business development, said in an interview. "It allows us to tightly manage how traffic is moving across the WAN links, so that we can make better use of available capacity."

He added: "We have this concept of the controller managing individual switch devices on the network. Before [the new product], that would be the end of scaling. With the UNC, we can configure multiple controllers as if they were a single instance."

The UNC, part of the vendor's ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite Version 5.1, enables users to create virtual networks spanning multiple datacenters, Clark said. Using OpenFlow as the centralized control protocol, the UNC works with switches from multiple vendors, and is extremely scalable. Users can make better use of network resources by pooling them across datacenters, moving virtual machines (VMs) from overextended datacenters to others that have available capacity. End users would, in theory, experience improved access to applications and collaboration.

NEC says the ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite Version 5.1 allows users to increase by a factor of 10 the number of switches and flows that can be controlled centrally, compared with Version 5.0.

NEC envisions UNC being used for disaster recovery and business continuity, controlling two locations -- a main datacenter and a standby -- from a single network operations point. The UNC would also be useful for migrating individual virtual machines from one datacenter to another.

The UNC will be commercially available in late April.

NEC announced the product at the Open Networking Summit 2014 in Santa Clara, Calif.

The UNC "demonstrates the promise of software defined networks," Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa said in a phone interview. "The real promise of SDN is by abstracting network topology from individual devices, and centralizing the controller and providing open APIs. That's where innovation will be."

Software such as the UNC will, the industry is led to believe, enable networking and services innovation, but what kind of innovation? "Heck, we don't know yet," Skorupa said.

OpenFlow support helps NEC compensate for one of its chief liabilities. "NEC has a relatively limited portfolio of switches," Skorupa said. "But because it supports things like OpenFlow, it now has the potential to incorporate switches from other vendors."

NEC's biggest challenge, in the US market at least, is visibility. "They're not particularly visible in the US market," Skorupa said. "They don't have a large installed base in enterprise accounts in North America. As an optimist, you could say that's an amazing opportunity for growth. A more cautious view is that they don't have the established routes to market that a Cisco, Dell, HP, or VMware would have."

Centralized management (aka 'the telco cloud') is, in the words of the immortal Ron Burgundy, "kind of a big deal," with multiple vendors announcing products in just the past few weeks.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to mwagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about this topic? Check out the agenda for The Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics and the stellar service provider speaker line-up, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/4/2014 | 12:56:56 PM
Re: Really?
Innovation needs a plan - even a wrong plan.  Saying we don't know can either be, that they have no idea or are unsure of the outcome.  Being unsure and flexible is a great idea.  Having no idea is a really bad one.

 

seven

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/4/2014 | 12:53:54 PM
Re: Good News for Disaster Recovery!
Disaster recovery is something small businesses in particular often neglect. It's an opportunity for service providers to fill a gap.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/4/2014 | 12:52:07 PM
Re: Good News for Disaster Recovery!
Gabriel Brown - The Japanese need to be experts on earthquake resiliency. The islands are seismically highly active. They make Southern California look sleepy.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/4/2014 | 12:50:19 PM
Re: Really?
Duh! - I can see both sides of this. On the one hand, the nature of innovation is that it is often unknown. On the other hand, investors hate unknowns.
Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/4/2014 | 11:04:40 AM
Really?
"Software such as the UNC will, the industry is led to believe, enable networking and services innovation, but what kind of innovation? "Heck, we don't know yet," Skorupa said."

Really?  I don't know what to say. 

Just that I'd hate to have to defend that story to the finance folks.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/4/2014 | 4:00:53 AM
Re: Good News for Disaster Recovery!
Speaking of disaster recovery, The Great East Japan Earthquake certainly focused the local telecom industry. Japanese operators (and their vendors, such as NEC) are looking to cloud technologies for network resiliency and scalability.

DoCoMo, for example, is working to quickly scale IMS capacity using the cloud to be able to meet the surge in voice calls when disaster strikes next. It gave a good presentation on the topic at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress last October... in 30 minute period it can achieve what previously would have taken months.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
3/4/2014 | 2:06:00 AM
Re: Good News for Disaster Recovery!
smkinoshita, 

"That's great news for everyone, because disaster recovery and business continuity is something I still don't see getting enough attention and it's so critical."

That was exactly what I was thinking. After so many natural disasters, for instance, a disaster recovery plan should be a top priority. We are living times when network downtime can damage the business badly.

-Susan  
smkinoshita
50%
50%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/3/2014 | 8:23:37 PM
Good News for Disaster Recovery!
"NEC envisions UNC being used for disaster recovery and business continuity, controlling two locations -- a main datacenter and a standby -- from a single network operations point."

That's great news for everyone, because disaster recovery and business continuity is something I still don't see getting enough attention and it's so critical.  The server room flooded at a place I used to work, forcing a network evacuation that thankfully was recovered from surprisingly quickly, but thanks only to sheer luck.  Network downtime was minimal but it could have been far, far worse because there was no disaster recovery or continuation plan.
Ray@LR
100%
0%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
3/3/2014 | 2:56:05 PM
Changing landscape
The landscape of tech suppliers is changing and will continue to do so as NFV and SDN get introduced into networks. NEC has been at this for a long time and have been in development wih the likes of Telefonica for years already -- it has mote WAN/telco know-how than people think and a great deal of experience in the datacenter sector.

One to watch for growing influence, IMHO. 
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
,
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
Cisco Throws 5,500 Overboard on Cruise to Richer Waters
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/17/2016
VoLTE Can Drive 4G Small Cells Adoption
Ravi Narayanan, Senior Analyst – Cloud & Next Generation Mobile Networks, Heavy Reading, 8/18/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
'Most Wanted' Kobi Comes Home
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 8/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.