As part of its NetroSphere Multi-Service Fabric (MSF) efforts, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) says it has demonstrated the ability to use white-box switches to configure virtual networks within a terabit per second carrier network environment. The Tokyo-based carrier says it has developed software that enables MPLS functions via commercial white-box switches. Vendors and other carriers could use the open software for such capabilities in the future, the carrier believes.
The software enables white box switches such as those now used in data centers to support a pair of techniques to achieve MPLS transport. The software generates optimal pathways by exchanging network path data with other MPLS routers, and writing the generated paths to hardware through an interface that supports MPLS transport.
NTT believes the development will spark the creation and use of general-purpose white box switches capable of carrier network level performance. The deployment of such switches should lower costs and provide service providers with a wider array of technology options that they can modify themselves, NTT adds.
NTT says it plans to further evaluate the software on its NetroSpherePIT test platform, including adding additional capabilities.
NTT established the NetroSphere initiative in 2015 to evaluate technologies for future networks, including software-defined networking and network functions virtualization (SDN/NFV). The carrier announced a broadband access network architecture based on SDN/NFV this past February (see "NTT's Flexible Access Systems Architecture envisions white-box OLTs").
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