Firms Develop API in SDN Interoperability Trial

AT&T and Colt Technology Services today announced they're developing an API infrastructure standard for software-defined networking (SDN), used in a recent interoperability trial between networks in the U.S. and Europe.

"During the trial between the two networks in the U.S. and Europe, AT&T successfully provisioned network services between the east coast of the U.S. and various locations in Europe," the companies said in a statement today. "This allowed SDN-to-SDN control using a programmatic API-to-API interface between the separate SDN architectures, proving that SDN-managed services can be set up and run across multiple networks in just minutes. They can also be managed and flexed in near-real time. This creates a template for providers to deploy new services in a matter of minutes over each other's networks."

The trial may serve to smooth the road for carrier and even enterprise adoption of SDN as part of a new "software-centric" movement that includes a close cousin to SDN, network functions virtualization (NFV). Moving networking "smarts" from hardware to software is a trend touching everything from software-defined storage to full-on software-defined datacenters.

AT&T jumped on the SDN bandwagon early on, announcing an SDN-based "network on demand" service back in 2014. It then open sourced an in-house SDN- and NFV-based platform it developed in-house in the hope that it would become an industry standard. It followed up that move by launching a new Network Functions on Demand service this summer.

In announcing the new U.S./Europe trial, AT&T joined European counterpart Colt in expecting the test to further drive SDN collaboration and standardization efforts. The companies said they plan to share the network connection interface and open API code they developed as part of the trial.

"Our work at AT&T Labs and AT&T Foundry, and our collaboration with Colt will help enable customers to have more cost-efficient, flexible and adaptable networks," said AT&T exec Roman Pacewicz. "Businesses looking to provide a seamless connected environment for their customers can benefit greatly from a unified industry ecosystem that's focused on interoperability."

Colt exec Rajiv Datta, meanwhile, said: "This proof of concept is a key building block giving enterprises the power to provision scalable, flexible network services on-demand. The API in our trial makes managing integrated SDNs accessible, agile, flexible, and easy to adopt. As use cases and APIs continue to evolve, we'll be able to add attributes, services and enhancements that will drive further innovation. This will be critical as SDN becomes increasingly important in our business climate."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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