World's Highest Performance SDN Software Switch to Be Unveiled as Open Source Software

World's Highest Performance SDN Software Switch to Be Unveiled as Open Source

PR Newswire

TOKYO, June 18, 2014

TOKYO, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

- Promoting Expansion of SDN Eco-systems Based on Open Source Software -

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, TSE: 9432, NYSE: NTT)
announced on June 18 that the SDN software switch "Lagopus" will be unveiled
in July 2014 as Open Source Software (OSS). The switch is widely compliant
with OpenFlow 1.3 and features performance and functions suitable for both
data centers and wide area networks.
The corporation has also established the SDN Switches Test Center, which is
leveraging the "Ryu SDN Framework" already released as OSS.
Through these activities NTT aims to expand OSS-based SDN eco-systems with the
participation of various companies, universities, and research organizations.

(Photo: )

1. Background
In recent years SDN (*1) and NFV(*2) have become particularly important inthe
drive to achieve adaptive and rapid network deployment and addedfunctionality
for network services. The focus of these technologies is onsoftware-oriented
rather than hardware-oriented network functions,especially dedicated LSIs. As
SDN begins to be implemented into datacenters, it is expected that its
advantages will also be applied to wide area networks(*3). Thus, wide
functionality and high-performance forwardingare required for controllers and
switches, both of them principalcomponents of SDN.

In the field of SDN switches, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories
arepromoting R&D in the O3 Project(*4) as part of a "Research and
Developmentof Network Virtualization Technology" program commissioned by the
Ministryof Internal Affairs and Communications. A prototype SDN software
switch"Lagopus" that enabled 10 Gbps forwarding was successfully developed
inDecember 2013. Demonstrations and presentations of Lagopus have been
warmlyapplauded by network experts and given them high expectations for

In the area of SDN controllers, NTT Software Innovation Center releasedthe
"Ryu SDN Framework" as OSS in 2012. The framework has since beenmodified to
extend its functionality with the participation of variouscompanies,
universities, and research organizations. Specifically, the Ryu SDN Framework
can handle not only OpenFlow(*5), one of the leading specifications for SDN
development, but also a wide variety of protocolsneeded for coordination with
existing network nodes. In consequence it was unhesitatingly selected by
Broadcom Corporation, a firm which is developingOpenFlow enabled LSIs,
OpenStack Project(*6) engaged in cloud platformconstruction and other

With the Lagopus switch updated from a prototype to a product qualified for
general use, NTT will be providing it as OSS to further accelerate
theexpansion of SDN eco-systems with the Ryu SDN Framework.

2. Challenges for expanding SDN eco-systems
To assist SDN developers and users, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories
andNTT Software Innovation Center will establish a test center for
OpenFlowswitches and will provide Lagopus as OSS. The expectation is that the
combined use of the updated Lagopus switch and the Ryu SDN Framework will help
to expand the SDN applicable area from data centers to wide areanetworks. NTT
is also aiming at the expansion of SDN eco-systems based onOSS.

Challenges to be faced are as follows:

(1). Providing Lagopus as OSS
With NTT providing the highly-functional, high-performance Lagopusswitch as
OSS, the organization aims to work together with companies, research
organizations, and universities to accelerate SDN R&D. Since Lagopus was
designed and developed for servers widely sold in markets, its inclusion in
them will better enable buyers to select a serverwhose price and performance
suits their purposes. In particular, Lagopus can be applied in wide area
networks due to its fast packetprocessing performance that previous software
switches cannot achieve. It is expected that ongoing user growth will help to
expanddevelopers' communities. Likewise, it is expected that the use
ofLagopus will help to expand and mature eco-systems through theaddition of
new functions, the stabilization of software, thedevelopment of tie-in tools,
the maintenance of documents, and theaccumulation of know-how.

The first version of Lagopus will be available as OSS in July

(2). Development of a conformance test tool for OpenFlow switches
The Ryu SDN Framework is used by many switch developers due to itshigh
conformance with OpenFlow specifications. In conjunction with this, NTT has
been developing a conformance test tool for OpenFlowswitches. Since OpenFlow
specifications tend to be updated frequentlyand since they describe the
determination of wide areas, it isdifficult to speedily develop SDN switches
that are highly compliantwith them. To address this issue, NTT has
co-developed a betterconformance test tool with the help of various
developers and users,in the same way as in the Ryu SDN Framework development
process. Thistest tool is included in the Ryu SDN Framework and can be used

(3). Providing results obtained with the conformance test tool for various
OpenFlow switches
Results obtained with the conformance test tool for various OpenFlowswitches'
have been published online( ).
When systemdevelopers or application developers want to use OpenFlow
switches,they should inspect suitable hardware- or software-based switches
onthe basis of their needs. By referring to these published testresults,
developers and users can easily check the conformance scoresof various SDN
switches. Thus, the results are expected to aid inpromoting the use of
OpenFlow switches.Through these approaches taken at the test center, NTT aims
toaccelerate cooperation with SDN developers and SDN users and also aims to
expand SDN eco-systems.

3. Features of products
(1). Fast SDN software switch "Lagopus"
A fast SDN software switch that can be applied to wide area networksand that
conforms to OpenFlow specifications

a. It is highly conformable with the latest and long-term-supportOpenFlow
1.3.4. It also supports various protocols in not only data centers but also
wide area networks.

b. With its fast packet processing implementation leveraging recent server
architecture components such as multi-core CPUs, and itsfast I/O processing
by Intel DPDK, Lagopus can achieve the 1M flowcontrol rule support and 10
Gbps forwarding performance needed forlarge scale and broadband forwarding
processing in wide areanetworks.

(2). SDN controller "Ryu SDN Framework"
A software platform that provides tools and libraries for easydeployment of
SDN networks

a. Controlling various OpenFlow switchesIn comparison with other SDN
controllers, Ryu can handle a widerrange of OpenFlow versions (1.0, 1.2, 1.3
and 1.4) and thus can control more OpenFlow switches.

b. Interoperability of existing network nodesSince Ryu supports various
protocols for existing network nodes, itcan be applied even during network
migration. Details on the Ryu SDN Framework are available at

4. Future plans
NTT will expand open source communities to accelerate not only
widespreadutilization of our approaches but also functional extension and
performanceincrease with the cooperation of co-developers. The organization
will alsopromote market expansion by leveraging open source software and aim
at  expanding SDN/NFV technology and stimulating business.

5. Notes
(*1) SDN stands for "Software Defined Networking."
(*2) NFV stands for "Network Functions Virtualisation."
(*3) Wide area networks span a wide geographical area provided by carriers.
(*4) See the press release, "O3 Project launched for achieving the
world'sfirst wide area SDN."
(*5) OpenFlow is the first standard interface designed specifically for SDN,
providing high-performance, granular traffic control across multiple vendors'
network devices.
(Cited from ONF SDN White Paper:
(*6) OpenStack is a global collaboration of developers and cloud
computingtechnologists producing the ubiquitous open source cloud
computingplatform for public and private clouds.
(Cited from OpenStack web site. )

Shigemi Mori
Public Relations
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Tel: +81-46-240-5157

SOURCE Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

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