Light Reading

AT&T Spotlights Early SDN Efforts

Carol Wilson
5/12/2014
50%
50%

As part of its announcement that Salesforce.com has joined the AT&T cloud ecosystem, AT&T today is also providing background on how its researchers developed an early version of software-defined networking (SDN) technology to enable its NetBond service, which makes the network as on-demand as the cloud-based services. (See AT&T Brings Salesforce into Cloud Ecosystem.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s NetBond allows customers to connect to the cloud ecosystem -- now including Salesforce.com Inc. -- via secure connections that appear as another node on their MPLS-based virtual private networks. In addition to offering better performance and security, that network connectivity can be scaled up and down along with the cloud-based compute and software resources, and customers only pay for what they use.

As Chris Rice, vice president, advanced technologies at AT&T Labs, explains in a blog post here, AT&T Labs researchers created an early version of SDN called Intelligent Routing Service Control Point. IRSCP separates software control from the routing hardware, as SDN does, to deliver greater flexibility in routing traffic, and to enable the seamless integration of private VPN networks with the cloud provider's data centers, where compute/storage/applications reside, according to Rice.

The net benefit to AT&T cloud customers is that they get the "inherent advantages of MPLS such as predictable high performance and low latency, on a network that is highly secure because it isn't part of the public Internet, and so is free from DDOS attacks," Rice writes.

Plus, they can save money on networking costs, says Rene Dufrene, assistant vice president of NetBond at AT&T. NetBond, which was launched last year initially with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) (and won a 2013 Leading Lights award), has since been expanded to include connections to CSC, to the Microsoft Azure cloud and to Equinix data centers. (See Microsoft-Nokia & iPhone 5c: What Do They Mean for Smartphone Trends in Emerging Markets? and Light Reading Announces 2013 Leading Lights Winners.)

The addition of Salesforce.com, the first software-as-a-service provider included in the AT&T ecosystem, was a response to requests from current customers, but is also expected to help drive additional AT&T cloud sales. Salesforce is widely used for customer relationship management, covering the sales and support cycle.

"We are working with other major SaaS providers as well, to offer their services as private connectivity through NetBond, which is something that is very attractive to SaaS as well as platform-as-a-service providers," Dufrene says.

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

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 2:40:47 PM
Re: Adds great value
You took the words right out of my mouth--only stated them better than I could. Open/disaggregation/abstration are the operative words going forward, and companies like AT&T and Cisco are going to have to play by the new rules or...well, let's not go there just yet.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
5/13/2014 | 1:31:31 PM
Re: Audacious
Good question, and I have an interview Thursday which will hopefully help me answer those questions a little better. NTT was very early to this, but they also did a lot of the development work themselves. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/13/2014 | 1:30:09 PM
Audacious
Carol, what's your sense of how mature AT&T's SDN plan is? When senior technology VP John Donovan presented in February, the plan seemed audacious but still very early days compared with some of the work NTT is doing. AT&T still seemed to be clearing the stage and laying out its tools.
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
5/12/2014 | 9:39:00 PM
Re: Adds great value
I am digging into this further but it's not my impression that AT&T is cooking up its own version of SDN -- they are challenging their vendors to step up on that front.

I think it's important to recognize this is product-focused -- they need to deliver what their customers are demanding and waiting to do that after they've gone through the long vendor selection process isn't necessarily gong to work going forward.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/12/2014 | 9:01:00 PM
Re: Adds great value
I'm not so impressed that AT&T cooked up its own SDN -- because I think it's pretty common for AT&T to develop proprietary technologies (usually with an aim at patenting them...) and then trying to make their flavor of the technology the near-universal business standard. It's a strategy they've used for quite some time (to varying effect).

It's perhaps more interesting to me that open SDN projects seem to be getting more attention than AT&T's SDN-like tech? That's the man-bites-dog story, in my opinion.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
5/12/2014 | 6:10:30 PM
Re: Adds great value
I'd agree -Salesforce has become the defactor way many businesses do much more than CRM. 

I think this reflects the increasing significance of being able to deliver the applicatoins and software companies want and not just infrastruture or platform capabilities. 

But I also think it's interesting how AT&T cooked up its own pre-SDN way to making the network more flexible.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/12/2014 | 6:08:01 PM
Adds great value
Salesforce is a real get for AT&T. As an extremely popular application, it will add significant value and attractiveness to AT&T's cloud service. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Qualcomm Wants FCC to Stay Out of LTE-U Fray
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Distract-a-Cat Click Here
The vibrate function makes for a useful cat distraction.