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Home > News Room > NEC Successfully Conducts a Trans-Pacific Demonstration of Programmable Flow Switch Prototypes to Enable Future Internet Innovations

NEC Successfully Conducts a Trans-Pacific Demonstration of Programmable Flow Switch Prototypes to Enable Future Internet Innovations - Live Demonstration at the 3rd GENI Engineering Conference -

 

***For immediate use October 29, 2008


Tokyo, October 29, 2008 - NEC Corporation today announced the successful development of a programmable flow switch prototype that promises to assist research and advancement of future Internet progress. NEC succeeded in demonstrating the switches' cutting edge network capability through international R&D networks that include JGN2plus(*1), TransPAC2(*2) and the Internet2(*3).

The technology will be exhibited at a joint demonstration with Stanford University and others, at the 3rd GENI Engineering Conference being held in Palo Alto, California, USA, from October 28 through 30, 2008.

The programmable flow switch allows researchers to openly experiment with new technological ideas and share the results. It can be used to program how switches on the Internet direct packets of data, even when those devices have no overt programming interface (See Attachment 1). Systems that feature programmable flow switches may conduct switching and controlling functionalities separately, while control servers incorporate integrated control middleware for network, computer and storage systems. For example, the switches are expected to contribute to "cloud computing," in which users harness remote networked computers to provide computational resources.

This newly developed technology incorporates a number of key features that include:
(1)Open technology
OpenFlow technology(*4), which consists of programmable flow switches, control servers and specifications open to the public, has been adopted as the programmable network framework.
(2)Accommodation of multiple virtualized networks
Services for a variety of future networks can be operated simultaneously via virtual switch functionality. Programmable switch functionality and legacy Layer 2 switch functionality can be collocated in a physical switch, which ensures seamless migration.
(3)High speed packet switching
Deployment of architecture incorporating software-based intelligent design and hardware-based high speed packet switching provides both high speed operation and requires low power consumption, which offers 100 times higher performance without loss of programmability.

Furthermore, Stanford University and NEC have succeeded in network control and coordination of both computer and network systems via programmable flow switches spanning a wide area network connecting the United States and Japan, and managed by JGN2plus and TransPAC2.

Details of the experiment's breakthroughs include:
1. Network controllability: Using a control server to control dynamic network flow covering a wide-area network.
2. Coordination of computer and network systems control: Live, long-distance migration of services from a host machine located at Stanford University in California, USA, to a host machine located at the Service Platform Architecture Research Center (*5) in Otemachi, Tokyo, Japan (*6).

Demonstration of this technology will be presented at the 3rd GENI Engineering Conference being held in Palo Alto, California, USA from October 28 through 30, 2008 (Figure 2).

The GENI demonstration is performed as a joint project between Stanford University, Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Hewlett Packard and others. The project has demonstrated interoperability of switches from three venders. NEC plans to support OpenFlow features in its future products and to encourage universities, public testbed projects, and researchers to experiment with innovative network ideas.




Note
(*1)JGN2plus
Research and development testbed network for future networks managed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)
http://www.jgn.nict.go.jp/index.html

(*2)TransPAC2
TransPAC2 is a high-speed international Internet service that connects research and education networks in the Asia-Pacific region to those in the US. The organization was established by the University of Indiana through financial support from the US National Science Foundation.
http://www.transpac.org/

(*3)Internet2
Non profit organization comprised of 212 universities in the United States and 75 private enterprises
http://www.internet2.edu/

(*4) OpenFlow
Programmable flow switch and control interface specifications between control servers defined by the OpenFlow consortium (http://www.openflowswitch.org/)

(*5) Service Platform Architecture Research Center (SPARC)
Research and Development of management and operation technology for JGN2plus future networks

(*6)Verification method details
Programs that control migration of virtual machines and flow path assignments coordinated by OpenFlow are implemented in control servers. OpenFlow is used to create a virtual server that roams in real-time among remote networks (ex. U.S. and Japan) to ensure that computational resources are closest to active users in need of quick server responses.

***

NEC Press Contacts (Japan):

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation
+81-3-3798-6511
E-Mail:j-jasper@ax.jp.nec.com

Mitsumasa Fukumoto
NEC Corporation
+81-3-3798-6511
URL:m-fukumoto@db.jp.nec.com

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