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DT Teams With A10 for NFV Advance

Ray Le Maistre

Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with application delivery platform specialist A10 to develop an OpenStack-enabled IPv4-over-IPv6 solution as a virtual network function, a development set to ease the delivery of cloud services across the operator's revolutionary TeraStream network model.

TeraStream is Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s all-IP, next-generation network model that's being used to introduce a new networking topology that includes: a new approach to OSS, using Netconf and Yang; OpenStack for cloud management/orchestration; KVM as a hypervisor; and the introduction of SDN and NFV functionality. Currently, DT is piloting TeraStream at Croatian operator T-Hrvatski Telekom , part of its European empire. (See Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator and Netconf & Yang Go Mainstream.)

And as Axel Clauberg, VP of Transport, Aggregation and IP & Fixed Access in the CTO Team at DT, noted at Light Reading's recent Big Telecom Event in Chicago, the operator is challenging all existing preconceptions about what should make up the network of the future in an effort to make it as simple and open as possible. (See Nothing Is Sacred, DT's Clauberg Tells BTE .)

As part of the TeraStream development, DT wanted to develop capabilities that would enable it to deliver IPv4 services in a native IPv6 environment. "There is an expectation that IPv4 traffic will go down significantly by the end of the decade, but we'll need to deliver that function for some time," notes Clauberg in a white paper about to be released by A10 Networks Inc. "Producing IPv4 as a service is ideal, because we can react based on our current load and we don't need to drastically overprovision the way you might in a physical appliance scenario."

To achieve that, DT decide to develop a "softwire" encapsulation solution based on the emerging Lightweight 4 over 6 (LW4o6) Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard that is an extension of Dual-Stack Lite (DS-Lite). In a LW4o6 implementation, address translation is performed at the customer premises equipment (CPE) rather than in the operator's network, as is the case with DS-Lite.

DT decided to work with A10, which added LW4o6 support to its Thunder Series gateway, which has been designed for integration with OpenStack, SDN, and cloud orchestration environments. (See A10 Helps With 100G, IPv6 Transitions.)

DT then deployed the gateway as a virtual element (vThunder) in TeraStream, enabling it to configure and provision services as needed and dissemble them when no longer needed, according to A10.

"IPv4-over-IPv6 Softwire is the first example of a high-volume, data-plane-oriented network function that was virtualized," says Clauberg in the white paper. "When people talk about NFV today, they are focusing on the control plane, not the data plane. But if we truly want to change our cost basis, we have to look at virtualizing network services also touching the data plane," adds the DT executive.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/9/2014 | 4:45:50 PM
IPv6 has seemingly been on the verge of becoming mainstream for well more than a decade, during which time the Internet has been on the verge of collapsing when it runs out of IPv4 addresses. Can I stop holding my breath now?
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