China Unicom is working on what it ponderously calls its Cloud-Oriented Ubiquitous-Broadband Elastic Network (CUBE-Net 2.0) strategy, and as part of that, it recently partnered with Huawei to deploy some software-defined networking (SDN).
China Unicom and Huawei used SDN on the Hangzhou metro transport network to optimize bandwidth usage on leased lines for government and enterprises, the companies announced this week.
Part of the idea behind transport SDN is that software decides when a packet should ride the optical network, as opposed to the IP network, maximizing bandwidth usage. This will allow China Unicom to offer network-as-a-service.
For China Unicom, this is all part of the bigger picture of CUBE-Net 2.0, which the carrier says will require local broadband networks to evolve to a cloud-oriented architecture centered in the data center. The flattened network architecture can then use SDN and NFV technologies to provide on-demand cloud services.
This, by the way, sounds very similar to the Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD), which the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) open source group is working on, and which Huawei and China Unicom are both actively involved with.