NTT Communications has announced its latest success in developing SDN (Software Defined Networking) for the WAN (Wide Area Network). It has developed the basic operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) function enabling visualisation on multiple WAN’s using link trace and loopback tests. It order to configure a physical network using SDN it is vital to have visibility of performance across all connections that exist. The newly developed technology includes the capability to:
- Visualization of physical network topology: Visualizes the types of machines used in end-to-end networks.
- SDN connectivity test: Identifies the end-to-end segment where trouble is occurring.
- SDN link trace test: Tests for end-to-end continuity when establishing circuits or changing circuit paths.
- SDN loopback test: Tests for loopback continuity when establishing circuits or changing circuit paths.
This is the latest breakthrough for the O3 (“O Three”) Project, the Open Innovation over Network Platforms research and development project, set up in June 2013 between NTT Com, NEC Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Fujitsu Limited and Hitachi, Ltd its aim was to achieve the world’s first wide area SDN.
With the final results due to be reported to the Ministry Internal affairs and communication by the end of March 2016 we can expect a few more press release on the O3 Project website in the next few months.
While this announcement may not at first glance seem of importance, that NTT has achieved this using different manufacturers equipment is important. For enterprises the cost of WAN management is often high, both in terms of technology and resource expertise. If SDN technologies can be truly applied to global WAN’s, especially those from different providers it will allow companies to create even more cost effective WAN solutions.
Historically the international WAN providers have delivered services to every country, spreading their fibre networks deeper into those countries as their customers demanded. If SDN for WAN becomes a reality, a VNO peering with a network providers within each country will be able to create a performant WAN without many of the challenges that are faced today.
The technology that NTT has developed will be demonstrated at Okinawa Open Days 2015, which will be held at Okinawaken Shichoson Jichikaikan in Okinawa, Japan from December 14 to 18. What will really be interesting is how quickly a product can be brought to market and whether all the other members of the project have delivered on their objectives when the final report is submitted. Hitachi and Fujitsu are the remaining companies that have so far not released an update on the O3 website.