NTT Advances SDN

Ray Le Maistre
News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief

NTT Communications Corp. has announced what it claims will be the world's first cloud migration service that utilizes software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities.

The service, called On-premises Connection, is aimed at companies that want to migrate to the Enterprise Cloud service offered by NTT Communications, the global ICT services arm of NTT Group. It will be launched on July 28 in Japan and then rolled out to other markets.

NTT Communications says it is using SDN technology, developed in collaboration with VMware Inc., to connect its data centers with the networking equipment located at the customers' locations. This is achieved by installing SDN-compatible gateway equipment at the customers' premises, which "reduces the workload normally required to design and configure on-premises networks" and enables the customer to easily make changes to their services portfolio (for example, increasing bandwidth to meet peak usage demands).

The operator notes that migrating enterprises to a cloud environment "usually involves a vast workload to change network equipment settings and IP addresses in both servers and clients," which can be a major challenge and cause disruption to the end user.

Another benefit is that once the customers' equipment is assimilated into NTT Communications' cloud network, they can continue to use their existing IP addresses. Also, once in the cloud environment after migration, customers can continue to use the existing IP addresses of their on-premises systems, a further reduction of workload.

Why this matters
NTT Communications is already one of the leading lights in the Carrier SDN world, having already deployed SDN capabilities in the form of OpenFlow-enabled devices from NEC as part of its Enterprise Cloud service. (See APAC's Telcos Take SDN for a Spin.)

This new service cements its reputation as a mover and shaker in applied next-generation communications networking.

Service providers the world over are focusing attention on SDN and its close relative network functions virtualization (NFV) to see if they can boost operational efficiencies and reduce costs by embracing these new networking concepts in their data center and wide area networks. (See Service Provider SDN Gets Real.)

More than anything right now, carriers need use cases so they can see how SDN and NFV can be applied: On-premises connection is a prime example of what can be done right now, which is why this service is an important step for all major carriers and not just NTT Communications and its customers.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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