Fujitsu Launches Multilayer SDN Suite for Service Providers

The company's Virtuora NC 3.0 SDN framework and supporting applications take advantage of work done by the OpenDaylight Foundation.

network virtualization

Fujitsu is leveraging the work of the OpenDaylight Foundation in a new multilayer suite of network automation and virtualization products aimed at enabling service providers and cloud companies to more easily build software-defined network environments.

The Virtuora NC 3.0 suite of offerings from Fujitsu Network Communications includes an open software-defined networking (SDN) control framework that is based on the OpenDaylight platform as well as other layers created by Fujitsu that takes advantage of built-in components of OpenDaylight without linking them to application or device specifications, according to company officials.

By keeping the applications, controller infrastructure and southbound interfaces separate, Fujitsu is enabling businesses to use Agile and IT DevOps methodologies for such tasks as maintenance and upgrades, they said. The open and modular controller framework also means that users can migrate to other controller platforms without significantly impacting the interfaces and workloads running on the controller.

All of this is designed to make it easier for service and cloud providers to create the flexible and scalable network infrastructures they need to keep pace with the rising demand from customers for more and faster service delivery, according to Igor Bergman, vice president and head of the Software Business Unit at Fujitsu Network Communications.

"Service providers need networks that are architected for continuous improvement," Bergman said in a statement, adding that the easy scalability and programmability Virtuora NC brings to networks helps "providers reduce costs while increasing service velocity."

The new offering is the latest move Fujitsu is making in a network virtualization market—which includes network-functions virtualization (NFV) as well as SDN—that is rapidly changing the environments for enterprises and service providers. SDN and NFV enable users to remove the network control planes and various tasks—like routing, load balancing and firewalls—from expensive hardware and put them into software that can run on commodity systems, driving greater programmability, agility, scalability and cost savings.

Analysts with Research and Markets last month projected that service provider investments in SDN and NFV will grow 54 percent between last year and 2020, hitting more than $20 billion by the end of the decade. IHS Infonetics analysts are expecting similar growth, with the market for carrier SDN software, hardware and services jumping from $103 million in 2014 to $5.7 billion in 2019.

"We're still early in the long-term, 10- to 15-year transformation of service provider networks to SDN," Michael Howard, senior research director for carrier networks at IHS, said in a statement last year. "Momentum is strong, but we won't see widespread commercial deployments where bigger parts of—let along whole—networks are controlled by SDN until 2016 through 2020."

Fujitsu officials said the company's Virtuora NC and applications that go along with it are designed to enable service and cloud providers to more quickly introduce new products and features by abstracting the device, service and network layers. The suite includes open interfaces to reduce cycle times and improve network agility, automated process integration and an open control environment.

The interfaces to the controlled network elements that comprise the southbound layer are abstracted through YANG models and XML and support such management protocols as TL1 and NETCONF. The framework's supporting applications include Dynamic Service Activation and Service Restoration for provision and restoring services automatically or on-demand, Path Consumption that enables the network to automatically find the best path for the traffic based on such metrics as available bandwidth and network faults, and Resource Discovery for dynamically finding topology elements like nodes, links and equipment.

Fujitsu is a member of the OpenDaylight Foundation and an original backer of the Open Networking Lab's (ON.Lab) Open Networking Operation System (ONOS) effort. Both OpenDaylight and ONOS are being run under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.