AT&T noted successful first phase of SDN controlled testing sets the stage for faster Open ROADM trial and open router platform.
AT&T continued its push for greater software control over its network assets, announcing a successful trial of its 400 gigabit Ethernet data service guided by a software-defined networking controller.
The carrier said the trial, which is the first of a multiphase process, used a SDN controller to create a service along a 400 GbE connection between New York City and Washington, D.C. The trial then used software control to reroute the service along a second path to simulate the response to a network failure.
AT&T said the trial followed up on plans announced last October to demonstrate the 400 GbE service on its production network, “aligning with our shift towards a software-centric network.” The move is also expected to help the carrier deal with growing data demand across its network resources.
“Our approach to roll out the next generation of Ethernet speeds is working,” explained Rick Hubbard, SVP for network product management at AT&T, in a statement. “We continue to see enormous data growth on our network, fueled by video. And this will help with that growth.”
Moving forward, AT&T said the second phase of testing will include a 400 GbE end-to-end service transported across the carrier’s open reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer-compliant metro network to customers. The carrier late last year claimed a successful trial of the Open ROADM technology in the Dallas area at speeds up to 100 gigabits per second.
Blake Hlavaty, software solutions architect at Fujitsu, recently discussed the company’s work with AT&T on the project as part of our weekly “NFV/SDN Reality Check video show.
The program’s third phase is set to include the use of an open router platform powered by “merchant silicon and open source software” for transmitting 400 GbE services, which AT&T said would be the first instance in using such a configuration.
AT&T has said its software plans are critical to meeting increasing data demand across its network. The carrier said it has seen an approximate 250,000% increase in data traffic – most of it video-based – since 2007. AT&T plans to have 55% of its network functionality converted to SDN control by the end of this year, having hit 34% at the end of 2016, and with plans to hit 75% control by 2020.
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