Thursday, March 17, 2016

Japan's O Three Project Touts SDN Milestones

Japan's O3 (O Three) Project, which is back by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, announced a number of SDN milestones:

1. Technology for a common control framework -- this structuralizes complex network configurations that span multiple layers (wireless, optical, packet, and other networks) and multiple domains, enabling the integrated and rapid construction/operation of virtual wide area networks. The technology takes virtual networks comprised of multi-layer/multi-domain networks and creates a database of their control structures. The database is used to visualize the virtual network, as well as automatically convert construction- and control-related processes to processes directed at devices comprising the physical network. These processes are then executed automatically. As a result, it becomes possible within a virtual wide area network to introduce value-added functions for individual applications, such as enhanced security through real-time analysis of transferred data, improved throughput achieved by traffic distribution, and improved reliability through redundancy.

2. Technologies for integrated control of multiple layers and domains -- uses the virtual network's control structure database mentioned in 1. to construct a resource pool that stores the relationship between the layers and domains within the physical and virtual networks. This enables the dynamic allocation of network resources that exist across different layers and domains, and realizes the efficient use and stable operation of virtual wide area networks. Specifically, they refer to technology for managing multi-layer network resources, technology for impact assessment and recovery in the event of multiple system failures, and technology for checking the quality of the entire virtual network, such as OAM(7) functions within SDN. Whereas network control previously required layer- and domain-specific operations, the new technologies will remove physical constraints such as location and configuration, and enable a holistic approach combining resources across the entire network. This will improve the efficiency, usability, and convenience of virtual wide area networks. Even service platform operators, who do not own physical network resources, will be able to provide added value by creating unique functions through software control. These could include real-time communications transfer control that responds to communications content, traffic distribution through the flexible switching of networks, and network redundancy for bypassing faults in the event of system failure.

3. Technologies for developing virtualization-compatible SDN nodes -- uses the integrated control of multiple layers and domains to realize communications devices (nodes) that enable flexible changes in the network configuration and network quality of telecommunications carriers. They are aimed at telecommunications carrier networks comprised of networks within data centers (DCs) and networks between DCs, and consist of two technologies: "automatic tunnel-setting processing" and "packet-aware optical path processing." The "automatic tunnel-setting processing" technology is aimed at networks within DCs and the connection between networks within and between DCs. It automatically sets a tunnel protocol for configuring a virtual network within the SDN software switch. This technology is an expanded version of the high-performance open-source SDN software switch Lagopus(8), which the project has been developing. The "packet-aware optical path processing" technology is aimed at networks between DCs. Based on the situation of resources within the upper packet transport layer, it provides multiple optical paths (ODUflex(9)) of optical core networks with various band frequencies within the lower layer. For the control, the project proposed and standardized the OpenFlow protocol expansion method(10), which is similar to packet layer control. Whereas each network previously required separate nodes, the new technologies enable a single node (multi-layer node) to realize the optical core network and packet transport, and another to realize the IP network and tunnel protocol. This reduces the number of nodes and enables the efficient use of resources, and can lead to lower capital expenditure (CAPEX). In addition, by realizing automated tunnel protocol setting and the automated and targeted control of optical paths, operating expenditure (OPEX) can also be reduced.

Key players in O3 include NTT, NTT Communications, Fujitsu Limited, and Hitachi.

NTT Communications Develops SDN OAM

NTT Communications announced the development of a basic operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) function for software-defined networking (SDN) on multiple wide area networks (WAN). The new SDN OAM functions enable end-to-end network connection quality to be visualized on multiple WAN using link trace and loopback tests. The new technology visualizes network topology by automatically collecting connection information on physical networks...

Japan's O3 Project Announces First Milestones for Multi-Carrier, Multi-Layer SDN

Japan's "Open Innovation over Network Platforms" research and development (R&D) project, also known as the "O3 Project", announced the first milestones in its development of multi-carrier, multi-layer SDN, including the development of a database of expressions for integrating the optical layer of the network with packet layer. The O3 project is supported by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and includes the participation...

NTT Readies its "Lagopus" SDN SoftSwitch

NTT will be showing  "Lagopus" Open Source Software (OSS) SDN switch at this week's Interop Tokyo 2014 conference ahead of a formal unveiling next month. Development of the Lagopus SDN software switch originates with NTT Network Innovation Laboratories, which is one of the participants in Japan's O3 Project commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. A prototype SDN software switch “Lagopus” that enabled 10 Gbps forwarding...

Comcast Business Offers Direct Ethernet to AWS at Up to 10G

Comcast Business is now offering AWS Direct Connect Ethernet service at up to 10 Gbps.

Comcast Business is now a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN).  Comcast said it has the reach to connect more than 1 million Ethernet-enabled buildings in the Comcast network to AWS services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Solution (Amazon S3) and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).

The integration with AWS Direct Connect marks another addition to the data center and cloud program Comcast Business unveiled in 2014 that is designed to provide customers with more efficient access to cloud solutions. Comcast noted that it has one of the largest and most diverse networks in the country, with connections to more than 400 data centers and cloud exchanges.

“Connecting to a leading provider of cloud services is an advanced IT asset for our enterprise customers, and as CIOs and IT leaders look to expand their use of AWS, our integration with AWS Direct Connect will give them a new Ethernet network option to connect dispersed office locations and data centers,” said Denice Hasty, senior vice president of Marketing and Product Management for Comcast Business. “A key part of our cloud and data center initiative is to give businesses direct access to cloud providers for increased options and flexibility as they customize their hybrid network strategies.”

China Mobile Now Has 1.1M Base Stations and > 300M 4G Customers

China Mobile reported 2015 operating revenue or RMB668.3 billion (approximately US$103.3 billion), up by 2.6%; of which, revenue from telecommunications services was RMB584.1 billion, down by 1.3%. Profit attributable to equity shareholders was RMB108.5 billion, down by 0.6%.

Some highlights from the company's financial report:

  • Total mobile customers was 826 million, up by 2.4%
  • For the first time, revenue from data services exceeded its revenue from voice services, accounting for 52.0% of revenue from telecommunications services.
  • Approximately 1.1 million base stations in service, providing coverage for China's over 1.2 billion people.
  • 2015 net addition of over 200 million 4G subscriber, bringing its total 4G customer base to over 300 million. 
  • Mobile data traffic increased 143.7% compared to the previous year.
  • The total number of wireline broadband customers exceeded 55 million

Fujitsu Announces Smart CPRI Transport for Mobile Fronthaul

Fujitsu announced the availability of its Smart CPRI Transport solution designed to support advanced Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) fronthaul deployments.

The Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) solution contains a smart WDM system with integrated diagnostics, remote visibility, self-healing functionality, and ultralow latency. It provides CPRI fronthaul transport between remote radio heads (RRHs) on cellular towers and centralized baseband units (BBUs).

Fujitsu said its highly scalable architecture transports up to 80 CPRI channels via CWDM/DWDM over a fiber pair, while facilitating easy operation and maintenance. The solution can be configured for point-to-point, linear chain, point-to-multipoint, or ring network topologies. It utilizes a remote terminal connected to each RRH and one or more aggregators connected to BBUs residing at a BBU hotel, central office, or super macrocell site. In partnership with HFR, Inc., Fujitsu is supplying Smart CPRI Transport products in North America.

Three modular chassis are available:
  • The HSN8100NA is a remote terminal. The 2U shelf has two service slots and supports up to eight CPRI channels.
  • The HSN8300NA can function as either a remote terminal or a midsize aggregator. The 4U shelf has six service slots and supports up to 24 CPRI channels.
  • The HSN8500NA is a high-capacity aggregator. The 8U shelf has 20 service slots and supports up to 80 CPRI channels.
  • Carriers can use the Fujitsu NETSMART 1500 to simplify network management, provisioning, and surveillance. With the adoption of cloud-based architectures, the Smart CPRI Transport solution positions the RAN for SDN and the BBUs for virtualization, providing enhanced visibility into the RAN through a self-optimizing network (SON).
Some additional highlights of the solution:
  • Easy installation. Integrated engineering and installation tools reduce installation and maintenance expenses. Internal BERT, loopback, and distance measurement functions improve installation velocity. Optional FEC overcomes fiber impairments for substandard fiber pathways.
  • Easy upgrades. Pluggable optics simplify upgrades from CPRI service interface options 3 and 5 to CPRI option 7. Carriers can minimize capital expenses by reprovisioning transponders for new CPRI rates.
  • Fault detection. Extensive OAM for centralized remote visibility identifies alarm locations and distinguishes between radio and transport network faults, reducing MTTR, test equipment, and truck rolls. Custom threshold alerts enable proactive fault resolution before service is affected.
  • High reliability. Self-healing network operation for ring or diverse linear paths provides sub-50 millisecond protection switching. Integrated differential delay compensation maintains in-service calls upon protection switches. These network resiliency features provide five 9s availability and reduce customer churn.
“Carriers are seeking better ways to cost-effectively address the performance of next-generation mobile networks,” said Steve Pelosi, vice president and head of the Optical Business Unit, Fujitsu Network Communications. “Fujitsu Smart CPRI Transport is a proven, highly scalable solution that optimizes fronthaul network design for a C-RAN architecture — reducing operating costs and improving network reliability.”

Birch to Acquire Primus Assets in Canada, U.S. and P.R.

Birch Communications agreed to acquire select assets and customers of Primus Telecommunications, one of Canada's largest independent, full-service, telecommunications service providers.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Primus' more than 250,000 business and consumer customers will significantly expand Birch's service footprint. The transaction will also include 20,000 customers in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The companies said they complement each other from a product perspective, each offering industry-leading broadband internet, cloud-hosted PBX, dedicated data access, local phone, long distance and a variety of wholesale solutions.

"This transaction demonstrates our continued commitment to grow our service territory, product-set and customer base," said Vincent Oddo, President and CEO at Birch. "Primus customers will benefit from being part of a larger service provider with a strong commitment to award-winning customer care, and Birch customers will benefit from a new, significantly larger service territory. With the addition of the Primus assets, Birch expects that a significant portion of its revenue in 2016 will come from its fast-growing fiber and managed services segments."

The deal marks the 28th asset purchase for Birch.