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NTT Press Releases

June 8, 2015

SDN Software Switch “Lagopus” to Be Showcased in ShowNet at Interop Tokyo 2015
- Nominated as Finalist for Best of Show Award for Work in Demonstrating SDN- based Internet Exchange -

Tokyo, June 2015 - Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, TSE: 9432, NYSE: NTT) on June 8 announced that the SDN software switch “Lagopus” will be used as an essential part of ShowNet at Interop Tokyo 2015 to be held on June 10 - 12, in Makuhari Messe, Chiba Prefecture. Lagopus provides key functions in the advanced experiment about SDN-based Internet Exchange (SDN-IX). The purpose of the experiment is to test new technologies that aim at improving usability and stability of future Internet. In the SDN-IX, Lagopus will contribute to the realization of highly-valued services in a sophisticated manner that the existing technologies cannot easily achieve. Lagopus was nominated as a finalist for the Software Defined Infrastructure category and the ShowNet Demonstration category of this year’s Best of Show Award, winning high evaluations from experts.
NTT aims to expand OSS-based SDN eco-systems with the participation of various organizations, develop complementary technologies, and create new applications. As part of these activities, it is planning to provide assistance to young researchers and students of universities and other academic entities.

1.Background

SDN(*1) and NFV(*2) have become particularly important in the drive to achieve adaptive and rapid network deployment and added functionality for network services. The focus of these technologies is on software-oriented rather than hardware-oriented network functions. In contrast to rather limited usages in data centers in the past, SDN has begun to be used more widely and is expanding its role to such areas as wide area networks, enterprise networks, and smaller networks.
In the field of SDN switches, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories is promoting R&D in the O3 Project(*3) as part of a “Research and Development of Network Virtualization Technology” program commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. After successfully developing a prototype SDN software switch “Lagopus,” which enabled 10 Gbps forwarding and 1 M flow entries, in December 2013, the organization made the software publicly available as an open source software (OSS). Besides being a high performance switch that conforms to OpenFlow, the most widely used SDN specifications, Lagopus supports a wide range of network protocols and management interfaces. With these advantages, an important issue is creating newer applications that have not been realized easily by the existing technologies. Recognizing that usage in carrier networks is one of the targets, the organization is progressing software development to enhance functionality and performance even further. The organization is also engaged in accelerating OSS activities to expand its eco-systems to meet the goal.

2.Usage of Lagopus for the operation of SDN-IX in ShowNet

Internet Exchange (IX)(*4) using SDN, or SDN-IX, is gathering attention as a new use case of SDN. A demonstration experiment of SDN-IX is planned for Interop Tokyo 2015, an exhibition of computing and networking technologies. SDN-IX will be part of ShowNet(*5), which will be operated during the event.
The purpose of the experiment is to actualize automated operations and some sophisticated functions that will be highly valued but have been difficult to achieve in the existing IXs. Below are the examples of such services:

  • Automated path setting
    • Paths between autonomous systems (ASs) can be set automatically by inputting connection information on the operation and management system.
    • VLANs between ASs can be interconnected through interconversion of VLAN IDs administered by individual ASs.
  • Mitigation and prevention of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) traffic
    • Segregate and block DDoS attack traffic at the SDN-IX to keep ShowNet intact.
  • Improvement of operational stability through traffic reduction
    • Unnecessary traffic is reduced to prevent unpredictable problems that it could cause. The measures taken include blocking traffic from unregistered routers and restricting broadcast traffic to specific areas by implementing Proxy ARP in SDN switches.

Lagopus is being used for the SDN-IX in this year’s ShowNet. High functionality and usability that Lagopus, a software switch, provides is the main reason for its adoption. Lagopus will provide OpenFlow mechanisms and help realize services with less efforts than the existing network equipment requires.
Lagopus switches were installed at two different sites: Otemachi, Tokyo, where ASs are based and Makuhari Messe, Chiba Prefecture, where the event will be held. Thus, a distributed IX was constructed (Fig. 1). NECOMA Project’s controller(*6) is used to control Lagopus switches.
At Interop Tokyo 2015, Lagopus will be showcased in ShowNet. Also, panels will be exhibited in the O3 Project’s booth (No. 5N25). Lagopus was nominated as a finalist for this year’s Best of Show Award. Finalists of the award, which is given to honor “the most notable,” represent the trend of the year. A finalist of both the Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) category and the ShowNet Demonstration category, Lagopus received a high evaluation both for its high functionality and performance that the high-level of software technology provides and for its forward-looking approach.

3.Assistance for studies involving Lagopus

NTT Network Innovation Laboratories aims at adding new use cases and functions of Lagopus through expanded OSS eco-systems. It also hopes that young engineers, researchers, and students will use Lagopus to learn SDN technologies or conduct their research and, in doing so, try to create applications with fresh ideas.
To meet these objectives, the organization is discussing how to support universities, graduate schools and technical colleges that are interested in utilizing Lagopus for their education or research purposes. Providing technical assistance and holding hands-on seminars on site or remotely are among possible measures.
The entities that hope to receive assistance should participate in either Lagopus User Community or Okinawa Open Laboratory(*7), or both, and undertake studies involving Lagopus. Further conditions, including subjects of studies or ways of sharing research results, will be announced at relevant web sites. The number of entities that can receive assistance will be limited to about 10 entities.

4.Future plans (Fig. 2)

NTT Network Innovation Laboratories will advance development of Lagopus using expertise obtained through the SDN-IX experiment in this year’s ShowNet. The organization will also expand open source communities to accelerate not only widespread utilization of the approaches but also functional extension and performance increase with the cooperation of co-developers and other relevant bodies. It will promote market expansion by leveraging open source software and aim at expanding SDN/NFV technology and stimulating business.

Notes

  • *1)SDN stands for “Software Defined Networking.”
  • *2)NFV stands for “Network Functions Virtualisation.”
  • *3)See the press release, “O3 Project launched for achieving the world’s first wide area SDN.” http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2013/1309e/130917a.html
  • *4)Internet Exchange is where autonomous systems (ASs) meet and exchange their traffic. It involves path establishing between ASs and switching of traffic from different ASs.
  • *5)ShowNet is a large scale network to be operated at Interop Tokyo to interconnect newest products, technologies, and so on, that the participating organizations provide. It also enables Internet access in the event.
  • *6)NECOMA stands for Nippon-European Cyberdefense-Oriented Multilayer threat Analysis. Further information is available at http://www.necoma-project.eu/ .
  • *7)Okinawa Open Laboratory, A General Incorporated Association: Research Institute located in Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan that is conducting technology research and development, education and training of engineers, international conferences and so on to promote integration of SDN technology and cloud technology. (http://www.okinawaopenlabs.org/en/ )

Fig.1 Configuration of SDI-IX using Lagopus switches (Interop Tokyo 2015 ShowNet)

Fig.1 Configuration of SDI-IX using Lagopus switches
(Interop Tokyo 2015 ShowNet)

Fig.2 Future plans

Fig.2 Future plans

Information is current as of the date of issue of the individual press release.
Please be advised that information may be outdated after that point.

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