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Japanese government pushes SDN out of data centre

Tech supergroup leaps the LAN and bounds towards virtual WANs for 8K TV

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The world's still getting a handle on what software defined networking (SDN) means for the data centre, but Japan would like to take it further. The nation's government is getting together with five of the country's big names in tech to work out what's needed to take SDN to the wide area.

Members of the project include NEC, NTT, NTT Com, Fujitsu and Hitachi, and the research has been tagged the O3 Project (which apparently stands for Open Innovation over Network Platforms).

The research has been instigated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' “Research and Development of Network Virtualisation Technology” group.

O3 aims to identify which elements of the WAN can be made compatible with SDN to reduce the time it takes to put networks together, and create, change or close services. In particular, according to this announcement from NEC, the project aims to virtualise infrastructure that's shared between different carriers and service providers, so that services aren't bound to the lower layers of the network.

The three arms of the research will cover:

  • Network management and control – the project seeks “common handling of information” for controlling “optical, wireless and packet communications”;
  • Software for network design, construction and operation management; and
  • Development of “virtualisation compatible” network devices.

NEC is handling the network management and control platforms, and will work on SDN-compatible wireless systems. NTT will work on making software SDN-compatible, while its sibling NTT Com will create the guidelines for SDN operation. Fujitsu and Hitachi will work on optical and packet platforms, respectively.

The announcement says “when these technologies are realized, enterprises will be able to enjoy services by simply installing the specialized application for the services, such as big data applications, 8K HD video broadcasting and global enterprise intranet, and at the same time, optimum networks for the services will be provided promptly.” ®

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