NTT Communications is doing work on the infrastructure layer of its network, establishing what it calls “a key technology for software-defined networking (SDN) on multiple wide area networks” — but it might be joining this party a little late.
The new functions enable end-to-end network connection quality to be visualized on multiple WANs, using link trace and loopback tests. Link trace is the process of testing circuit paths, allowing an operator to see which nodes traffic is passing through. With loopback, an “operator in a certain point could know the whole network connectivity at his end point.”
NTT’s new technology visualizes network topology by automatically collecting connection information on physical networks configuring SDN, as shown on its chart.
This all sounds similar to the work Sedona Systems is doing for (it claims) 95 percent of fixed and mobile operators worldwide, mapping both the optical and IP layers of their networks as the foundation for SDN. Sedona is working with most of the big networking vendors, including ADVA, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, Huawei, Infinera, and Juniper. “If you map the market, I think only Fujitsu is missing,” says Sedona CEO Yossi Wellingstein.
According to NTT’s press release, it is working with Fujitsu on R&D. NTT is a participant in a research project aimed at making all WAN elements compatible with SDN. Project partners include NEC, Fujitsu, and Hitachi. In June 2013, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications consigned the project under its Research and Development of Network Virtualization Technology program.
However, while NTT says software manufacturing is sometimes outsourced to external suppliers, “we are not using a particular vendor’s commercial products at the moment.”