Members of Japan’s O3 Project (also known as O Three), which is backed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, have announced three key milestones in their ongoing software-defined networking (SDN) R&D initiative launched in September 2013. O Three has ambitions to establish the world’s first wide area SDN with a view to reducing time to construct WANs ‘by about 90%’. It is being jointly promoted by five tech companies – NEC Corp, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT Communications, Fujitsu and Hitachi – and seeks to make ‘a variety of wide area network elements compatible with SDN, including platforms for comprehensively integrating and managing multiple varieties of wide area network infrastructure and applications’.
According to a joint statement from the partners, the three milestones are:
1. Technology for a common control framework – this structuralises complex network configurations that span multiple layers (wireless, optical, packet, and other networks) and multiple domains, enabling the integrated and rapid construction/operation of virtual wide area networks
2. Technologies for integrated control of multiple layers and domains – this uses the virtual network’s control structure database mentioned in the common control framework to construct a resource pool that stores the relationship between the layers and domains within the physical and virtual networks
3. Technologies for developing virtualisation-compatible SDN nodes – this uses the integrated control of multiple layers and domains to realise communications devices (i.e. nodes) that enable flexible changes in the network configuration and network quality of telecommunications carriers.