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NTT Press Releases

October 31, 2017

Started joint experiment for drastic labor saving / automation by applying open source technology to optical transmission network between data centers
-Joint experiments with Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories toward application of open source software and white box switch to optical transmission network-

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (“NTT”, HQ: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Hiroo Unoura) and Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories (“CHT-TL”: Head Office: Yangmei District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan; President: Shyang-Yih Chen) have begun joint experiment applying open source software and white box switches to optical transport networks between data centers.

Background and Objectives of Joint Experiment

Expansion of the use of cloud services in recent years, the importance of IT service continuity has increased, and enterprises are required to respond swiftly to the rapidly changing business scene. More companies depend on multiple data centers, and the “data center optical transmission network” connecting these data centers is becoming more important than ever in corporate infrastructure.

NTT has been using open source technologies such as OSS and white box switches on ICT infrastructure to promote new functions quickly, realize scalability and agility by operational automation, and advance services by cooperating with external systems. We have software development capability obtained through OSS development of Ryu [1], GoBGP [2], etc. and through community activities at OSS project such as OpenStack. We also have a lot of knowledge on utilization of box type network hardware through activities at OCP, TIP, etc.

CHT-TL has been conducting research on application of SDN technology utilizing OSS to optical transmission network to reduce cost of optical transmission network and advanced network service. In addition, it has a close relationship with ODM vendors in Taiwan as Taiwan’s largest telecommunications operator · Chunghwa Telecom affiliation.

In this joint experiment, NTT and CHT-TL will demonstrate that open source technology is applied to optical transmission network between data centers for the first time in the world and it is useful for sophistication of network and cost reduction. In this experiment, by linking various external systems such as the machine learning infrastructure and the optical transmission device via an open API, automatic detection of aged deterioration of optical components of the optical transmission equipment and effective packets routing coordinating with the IP layer, we aim to drastically reduce labor savings / automation.

Outline of joint experiment

In this experiment, by using a white box type optical transmission equipment, by separating tightly coupled hardware and software from each other and forming different markets for each, we aim to lower entry barriers to optical transmission system between data centers in order to involve more stakeholders in this field. With regard to software, OSS is used to implement an open API in the optical transmission equipment, realizing operation by software instead of manual operation, so that opening operations, setting changes, and acquisition of statistical information are performed by SDN controller. We aim to achieve sophistication of network services by performing automatically and rapidly in cooperation with external systems such as orchestrators.

The CHT-TL studies the open API for enabling the interconnection of the own SDN controller · orchestrator and the control software of the white box optical transmission equipment. CHT-TL also performs the field experiment of optical transmission. NTT will examine the OSS that controls the white box type optical transmission equipment and expand the OSS community, and will study the functional requirements required for applying white box optical transmission equipment to the optical transmission network between the data centers.

Future Outlook

Utilizing the knowledge of the network construction and operation that both companies have cultivated as telecommunications carriers, we will continue to cooperate technological development in the field of optical transmission network between data centers to promote open source of optical transmission equipment.

Total configuration with SDN controller


  1. [1]Ryu : Open Source SDN Framework 
  2. [2]GoBGP : Open Source BGP implementation 

Inquiries regarding this press release

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

Service Innovation Laboratory Group
Public Relations

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