OIF, ONF offer Transport SDN demo details

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) have released details of their previously announced Transport software-defined networking (SDN) test and demonstration. That includes the names of the carrier participants.

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) have released details of their previously announced transport software-defined networking (SDN) test and demonstration. That includes the names of the carrier participants.

Those participants include China Mobile, China Telecom, TELUS, and Verizon. They will be joined by "consulting carriers" and research institutions such as KDDI R&D Laboratories, Orange, and China Academy of Telecommunications Research.

Several vendors also are expected to participate. The OIF and ONF have not released a list of these companies yet.

The test and demonstration, announced earlier this year, will focus on SDN as applied to optical transport networks, with "cloud bursting" as a use case. The participants hope to use SDN principles to accommodate cloud-derived traffic peaks between data centers via Optical Transport Network (OTN) connections created through a central interface. Ethernet service provision over OTN as the data plane also is expected to be part of the demonstration.

The participants will leverage the work the ONF has done on optically focused extensions to OpenFlow as well as some of the OIF’s work on northbound interfaces.

The test portion of the exercise is expected to begin by the end of this month. The carriers say they are itching to go.

"As a major carrier, China Mobile has been keeping intense interest in applying the SDN technology to transport network applications, and participate in the OIF/ONF joint test. Through this SDN test, China Mobile wishes to further promote the migration of network towards management centralization and resource virtualization, eventually enabling traffic-aware and end-to-end dynamic coordination, as well as realizing multi-layer, multi-domain and multi-technology optimizations," said Li Han, deputy director, China Mobile Research Institute, China Mobile, by way of example.

"China Telecom has recognized the potential value of SDN technology and wants better understandings of its deployment and influence to carrier networks," added Li Dou, vice president, Beijing Research Institute, China Telecom. "China Telecom is excited to participate in this OIF/ONF joint effort. We believe our collaborative efforts with global partners will help the industry to recognize the benefits and problems of SDN technology better, and also accelerate the development of SDN technology, especially in the transport network area."

The North American carrier participants echoed these sentiments. "TELUS is excited to participate in the OIF demonstration with our international peers to explore opportunities in software control, an exciting new area of SDN that has the potential to develop more dynamic, flexible and customer-friendly networks around the world. As the only the Canadian carrier participating, we look forward to exploring the industry’s latest innovations in order to bring Canadians the best network experience," offered Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO of TELUS.

"Verizon has been involved with SDN from its genesis and, as this technology evolves, we look forward to a better understanding of its deployment and operation," said Chris Emmons, director, network systems, implementation and planning at Verizon. "As one of the carriers involved in the trial and a hosting lab, Verizon fully supports the OIF and ONF and their collaborative efforts to advance the industry development in this area to achieve the expected benefits of SDN, such as increased network programmability, application aware networking and simplified service development."

The OIF and ONF plan to release results of the demonstration through both private and public showings. The invitation-only private "read outs" will take place Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at Verizon's Waltham, MA, facility and Monday, October 27, 2014, at a China Telecom facility in Beijing. The public demonstration will take place Wednesday, October 15, 2014, at the Layer 123 SDN and OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The parties also expect to publish a whitepaper describing the demonstration and results.

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