Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Telus, China Mobile and China Telecom are among a group of Tier 1 service providers that are working in conjunction with the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to better understand how transport software defined networking (SDN) can be used in real-world environments.
The interoperability demonstration also includes consulting carriers and research institutions, including KDDI R&D Laboratories, Orange and China Academy of Telecommunications Research.
Set to begin this month, the joint testing effort will leverage OIF's knowledge of transport networks and worldwide interoperability testing experience for optical equipment, along with ONF's leadership role for the OpenFlow protocol and SDN architecture.
During the demonstration, the ONF Optical Transport Working Group will prototype OpenFlow extensions for optical transport along with service request and topology APIs from application to controller.
One of the key applications will be how service providers can allocate bandwidth-on-demand between data center sites, which is sometimes referred to as cloud-bursting. It will also show a prototype deployment of transport SDN technology, common interfaces required, needs for interoperability and any operational challenges.
While this is just a test, the fact that it includes four large global carriers shows that the service providers want to cut through the hype surrounding SDN and get a handle on how it could potentially work in a real-world network environment.
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