Monday, April 16, 2012

NEC: "SDN is Ready to Go!"

NEC has made an early bet on OpenFlow and software defined networking (SDN), said Kaoru Yano, Chairman of the Board of NEC Corporation, in a keynote address at the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California. The company has been involved in SDN since its early days at Stanford and has played a leading role in many OpenFlow projects in Japan and around the world. This pioneering effort is really an extension of the company's long term research in computers and communications.

Some key points from his presentation:

  • The value proposition of SDN can be summed up as follows: simple, fast, scalable, and open.

  • SDN's key function is to automatically manage network traffic and distribute it as needed.

  • SDN enables network traffic t0 be scaled and managed because network control is separated from network hardware.

  • SDN allows users to upgrade the network independently of the hardware.

  • NEC's OpenFlow formula is: Simplification + Virtualization + Visualization.

  • NEC's unique SDN proposition is a logical abstraction called the Virtual Tenant Network -- this enables the complete separation of the logical plane from the physical plane. Users can design the Layer 2/3 network as they wish and then this design will be automatically mapped to the physical hardware.

  • NEC's ProgrammableFlow enables drag-and-drop configuration of virtual tenants in a data center.

  • NEC currently has 100+ SDN system trials underway.

  • Current SDN applications will include academic networks, data centers, enterprise networks and the backbone infrastructure of telecom carriers.

  • Geneis Hosting Solutions is using SDN to provide flexible global IP address assignment. The deployment has achieved a 60% reduction in global IP address and saved 100 hours per week of service support. The network has achieved 99.999% availability.

  • Nippon Express using NEC's ProgrammableFlow to achieve virtualization flexibility and reduce service delivery time. The deployment reduced tithe rack space required for core switches by 70% and reduced power consumption by 80%.

  • NEC is using Programmable Flow for its own multi-purpose data center. Following last year's earthquake and tsunami, NEC needed to relocate data center facilities to western Japan due to power restrictions. ProgrammableFlow simplified this transfer process.

  • Software-defined networking can provide much smarter congestion control and recovery following a major disaster as experienced last year.

The Open Networking Summit is planning to post a video of their conference following the event.

See also