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Firms Team Up for Transport SDN Solution

It promises end-to-end network automation and control across all network domains and layers.

Four networking companies have teamed up to apply software-defined networking (SDN) to transport networks, promising end-to-end network automation and control across all network domains and layers.

After a successful demonstration in partnership with Infinera and Juniper Networks, a Transport SDN solution was announced Tuesday by NEC Corporation and its Netcracker Technology subsidiary.

While some initiatives in the fledgling SDN movement have concerned datacenter networks, this project deals with transport networks, utilizing the lower levels of the OSI model for transporting data across wide-area networks (WANs), for example, typically via optical or microwave networks.

The companies demonstrated their solution as part of the Optical Interworking Forum (OIF)/Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Transport API project.

According to a statement, Infinera provided experience gleaned from its Intelligent Transport Networks, and Juniper contributed its capabilities in IP/MPLS, physical/virtual network functionality and domain orchestration. Those were combined with NEC's and Netcracker's expertise in multilayer control and service orchestration, including NEC's advanced network transport products.

Transport SDN
[Click on image for larger view.] Transport SDN (source: Netcracker).

Furthermore, "the participants executed a multidomain path selection and recovery test plan with intra-lab and inter-lab testing across multiple global carrier labs, including both Verizon's and Telefónica's," the statement said. "In the demo, NEC/Netcracker's Multilayer SDN Controller used the new Transport API defined by the ONF to communicate with Juniper's NorthStar Controller at Verizon's lab and the Infinera Xceed optical SDN domain controllers at Telefónica's lab. NEC/Netcracker's Service Orchestration solution successfully created and managed Ethernet point-to-point private services across multiple vendors and multiple operators' domains."

That led to the availability of the Transport SDN solution on the Netcracker site, which says it can break down network silos and provide complete visibility across all network domains and layers, which can reportedly help organizations enable new services and lower costs.

Also, advanced analytics can be used to optimize resources residing on different networks. Such optimization can reportedly help organizations handle fluctuating traffic patterns and on-demand loads from customers.

Netcracker said its solution addresses the problem of current network silos, where IP, optical and microwave layers operate separately from one another, inhibiting visibility across discrete access, aggregation and transport layers.

"Even as SDN is introduced, it is often limited to a single network domain or layer," Netcracker said. "Traffic engineering in conducted offline, resulting in static provisioning, slow path restoration and under-utilization.

"NEC/Netcracker's Transport SDN Solution is focused on transforming the network to become a profit source. It is multidomain, multilayer and multivendor. It combines Service Orchestration with a Multilayer SDN controller that coordinates all SDN domain controllers and extends management to data centers and non-SDN-controlled parts of the network."

No pricing or availability information about the new Transport SDN solution is provided on the Netcracker site.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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