Israel based DriveNets announced today that Japanese telecommunications provider KDDI Corporation has successfully deployed DriveNets Network Cloud as its internet gateway peering router. DriveNets Network Cloud provides carrier-grade peering router connectivity across the KDDI network, enabling KDDI to scale its network and services quickly, while significantly reducing hardware requirements, lowering costs, and accelerating innovation. Additional applications will be deployed on DriveNets Network Cloud in the future.
“KDDI prides itself on deploying the most advanced and innovative technology solutions that allow us to anticipate and respond to the ever-changing usage trends, while providing considerable value to our customers,” said Kenji Kumaki, Ph.D. General Manager and Chief Architect, Technology Strategy & Planning, KDDI Corporation. “DriveNets Network Cloud enables us to quickly scale our network as needed, while controlling our costs effectively.”
“While many of Japan’s service providers have been aggressively pursuing the virtualization of network functions on their 4G and 5G networks, disaggregation of software and hardware in service providers’ routing infrastructure is just getting started,” said Ido Susan, DriveNets’ co-founder and CEO. “I am extremely proud that our Network Cloud solution was selected by KDDI, a leading innovative service provider, and is already deployed in their network, supporting the needs of KDDI‘s customers.”
The deployment of DriveNets Network Cloud on the KDDI network is the culmination of several years of testing and verification in KDDI‘s labs. It also reflects the growing adoption of disaggregated network architectures in service provider networks around the world.
“The move to disaggregated networking solutions will continue to be a prevailing trend in 2023 and beyond as savvy service providers try new technologies that can enable them to innovate faster and reduce costs. We are now seeing this technology also adopted in other high-scale networking environments, such as AI infrastructures,” said Susan.
DriveNets Run Almog wrote in an email, “KDDI is using white box devices from Delta. These are the “same” OCP compliant NCP devices which are deployed at AT&T (UFISpace in the AT&T case). they are using it as a peering router (vs. AT&T’s core use case). so this announcement is public indicative to several things: a 2nd Tier #1, another use case, and another ODM vendor, all in commercial deployments with our network cloud.”
DriveNets Inbar Lasser-Raab wrote in an email, “Getting a tier-1 SP to announce is very hard. They are cautious and our solution needs to be working and validated for some time before they are willing to talk about it. We are working on our next PR, but you never know when we’ll get the OK to release”
Compared to traditional routers that are comprised of software, hardware and chips from a single vendor, a DDBR solution combines software and equipment from multiple vendors, allowing service providers to break vendor lock and move to a new model that enables greater vendor choice and faster scale and introduction of new services through modern cloud design.
In addition to KDDI, DriveNets is already working with other service providers in Asia Pacific to meet the growing interest in its disaggregated networking solutions in the region. In mid-2021, the company established a Tokyo-based subsidiary to enhance its presence in the region.
DriveNets offers an architectural model similar to that of cloud hyperscalers, leading to better network economics and faster innovation. DriveNets Network Cloud includes an open ecosystem with elements from leading silicon vendors and original design manufacturers (ODMs), certified by DriveNets and empowered by our partners, which ensure the seamless integration of the solutions into providers’ networks.
DriveNets is a leader in cloud-native networking software and network disaggregation solutions. Founded at the end of 2015 and based in Israel, DriveNets transforms the way service and cloud providers build networks. DriveNets’ solution – Network Cloud – adapts the architectural and economic models of cloud to telco-grade networking. Network Cloud is a cloud-native software that runs over a shared physical infrastructure of white-boxes, radically simplifying the network’s operations, increasing network scale and elasticity and accelerating service innovation. DriveNets continues to deploy its Network Cloud with Tier 1 operators worldwide (like AT&T) and has raised more than $587 million in three funding rounds.
KDDI is telecommunication service provider in Japan, offering 5G and IoT services to a multitude of individual and corporate customers within and outside Japan through its “au”, “UQ mobile” and “povo” brands. In the Mid-Term Management Strategy (FY23.3–FY25.3), KDDI is promoting the Satellite Growth Strategy to strengthen the 5G-driven evolution of its telecommunications business and the expansion of focus areas centered around telecommunications.
Specifically, KDDI is especially focusing on following five areas: DX (digital transformation), Finance, Energy, LX (life transformation) and Regional Co-Creation. In particular, to promote DX, KDDI is assisting corporate customers in bringing telecommunication into everything through IoT to organize an environment in which customers can enjoy using 5G without being aware of its presence, and in providing business platforms that meet industry-specific needs to support customers in creating businesses.
In addition, KDDI places “sustainability management” that aims to achieve the sustainable growth of society and the enhancement of corporate value together with our partners at the core of the Mid-Term Management Strategy. By harnessing the characteristics of 5G in order to bring about an evolution of the power to connect, KDDI is working toward an era of the creation of new value.
IEEE/SCU SoE May 1st Virtual Panel Session: Open Source vs Proprietary Software Running on Disaggregated Hardware
KDDI claims world’s first 5G Standalone (SA) Open RAN site using Samsung vRAN and Fujitsu radio units
NTT Corp has unveiled a plan to invest JPY8 trillion ($59 billion) in growth businesses over the next five years. The core of its new growth will be its self-developed IOWN concept. The Japanese telecom giant is aiming to lift EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) from JPY3.3 trillion ($24.3 billion) today to JPY4.0 trillion ($29.5 billion) in 2027.
The IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) is an initiative for networks and information processing infrastructure including terminals that can provide high-speed, high-capacity communication utilizing innovative technology focused on optics, as well as tremendous computational resources. This is done in order to overcome the limitations of existing infrastructure with innovative technologies, optimize the individual with the whole based on all available information, and create a rich society that is tolerant of diversity. We have started R&D with the aim of finalizing specifications in 2024 and realizing the initiative in 2030.
IOWN consists of the following three major technical fields:
- APN: All-Photonics Network
Major improvement to information processing infrastructure potential
- DTC: Digital Twin Computing
A new world of services and applications
- CF: Cognitive Foundation®
Optimal harmonization of all ICT resources
A key concept is Photonic Disaggregated Computing – a new computing architecture that makes the shift from traditional server box-oriented computing infrastructure to boxless computing infrastructure, building on photonics-based data transmission paths.
By enabling each module, such as memory and AI computing devices, with photonic I / O (Input / Output) and connecting modules with a high-capacity and high-speed photonic data network, photonic disaggregated computing achieves highly flexible computing infrastructure. By dynamically combining modules according to computing demand, it also dramatically improves performance. Using NTT’s optoelectronic integration technology, the inter-package and inter-chip data transmission process can be replaced with photonics even inside of modules, while also dramatically improving energy efficiency.
By including data-centric computing technology and photonic disaggregated computing technology into the IOWN concept, we will accelerate creation of a natural cyber space in the era of the Smart World.
For example, AI control done by transmitting a large volume of data with low latency can realize system control that goes beyond the limits of human perception and reflexes. By coordinating a vast number of AI systems, NTT says they can realize overall optimization on the scale of society, as well as prediction of the future through large-scale simulations.
Heavy Reading’s (owned by Informa) 2023 survey attracted 87 qualified network operator responses from around the world who shared their views on transport deployment issues and timelines, fronthaul networks and RAN centralization, routing and synchronization, and 5G edge connectivity.
Network disaggregation has been defined as “The separation of networking equipment into functional components and allowing each component to be individually deployed.” The disaggregated network approach first gained major attention in 2012 when standards organization ETSI formed a working group to define how telecom operators could move to a cloud-native model for deploying networking and services.
White Box Deployment Model:
In the disaggregated network model, the network operating system/software is separate from the underlying hardware (white boxes), with each supplied by different vendors. White boxes can be bare metal switches, routers, packet-optical equipment or DWDM transponders. They are mostly used by cloud service providers and large network operators.
Network operators surveyed by Heavy Reading expect white box elements to have their highest deployments in cell sites and aggregation nodes. 44% of operators expect high deployments in cell sites (defined as greater than 50% of total elements), followed closely by aggregation, with 41% expecting high deployments.
Among the top benefits of white box cell site and aggregation deployments are easy integration into the RAN, compact footprint where space is at a premium and scaling from 10G to 400G on the same platform.
How extensively does your organization expect to deploy white box optical transport platforms over the next three years for the following 5G transport segments?
Source: Heavy Reading
Cell Site Backhaul:
5G requires a huge increase in capacity per cell site, with 10 Gbps replacing 1 Gbps as the standard for cell site backhaul speed. This tenfold jump in capacity is needed to meet initial 5G cell site requirements, as well as to provide room to grow for future increases. But the impact on 5G transport segments goes well beyond 10G, based on Heavy Reading survey results. Just over two-thirds of operators expect at least 100Gbps of capacity will be required in backhaul (67%) and aggregation (68%), while just under two-thirds of respondents (59%) expect that greater than 100 Gbps will be needed in edge access.
Heavy Reading found that 10Gbps to the individual cell site will be sufficient. However, network operators will often carry traffic from multiple cell sites, such as when using ring topologies for backhaul or when aggregating traffic coming in from multiple cell site locations. These survey results provide strong support that 100 Gbps and even 400 Gbps will play major roles in edge, aggregation and backhaul networks over the medium term.
What is your average expected bandwidth capacity in each of the following segments over the next three years (i.e., end of 2025)?
Source: Heavy Reading
IEEE/SCU SoE May 1st Virtual Panel Session: Open Source vs Proprietary Software Running on Disaggregated Hardware
Introduction (by Alan J Weissberger):
Through network disaggregation of hardware and modular software, as proposed by the OCP, TIP, and O-RAN Alliance, network operators can select cheaper/commodity hardware from Taiwanese and/or Chinese manufacturers (ODMs)while using open source software or purchasing software from a trusted source.
For example, open source or proprietary software can turn a bare-metal-switch into an Internet gateway or a 5G core router. That software will also provide network management and security. It can easily be changed if the network operator, or the national government, decides the security landscape has evolved – without the need to replace any physical equipment.
IEEE and SCU SoE are sponsoring a virtual panel session which is described here.
Disaggregation Issues (by Richard Brandon, VP of Strategy at RtBrick):
As you move closer towards the core, disaggregation will certainly result in more physical boxes being used than traditional network systems, but closer to the edge it is usually a one-for-one replacement, substituting a single proprietary box with an open one. Even in the core though, this won’t necessarily mean many more outward facing physical interfaces. For example, a white box switch really just takes the place of a line-card in a conventional chassis-based router, with the same number of outward facing networking ports. So at that level, little changes.
Q & A (Alan and Richard):
1. Which of the consortiums (OCP, TIP, O-RAN) are doing a good job of specifying disaggregated hardware modules and the exposed interfaces between them?
We’ve been working closest with TIP and its operator members, specifically on the Open BNG initiative. They’ve issued a set of requirements for different use-cases, which have been driven by several operators. There is always the risk that this requirements list can become a superset of everything that’s ever been implemented, but the process is doing its best to manage that challenge.
2. Any success stories of multi-vendor interoperability of those disaggregated network modules?
For Open BNG, TIP selected several hardware and software vendors that met their criteria, which includes interoperability. For example, RtBrick’s routing software can run on nine different hardware platforms from three different vendors, and those platforms can be mixed and matched to optimize for scale and cost. RtBrick’s BNG software has been deployed in Deutsche Telekom’s production network, working on different vendor switches.
3. The cyber attack surface is greatly increased with many more exposed interfaces. What extra cyber security is needed to prevent attacks?
Of course, there are more distinct switching entities, but in some ways, this is actually an advantage because if any individual switch is compromised by a DDos Attack, for example, the blast radius of the attack is actually reduced with disaggregation.
Either way, it is usually the software where any vulnerabilities may lie. Here, disaggregation opens up some interesting dynamics when it comes to security threats, particularly those security concerns that derive from equipment provided by ‘untrusted nation states.’ Up until now, telcos have had a choice between lower-cost equipment from these untrusted states, or using trusted vendors with higher cost-bases.
Disaggregation brings the best of both worlds. The hardware can be sourced from countries with low manufacturing costs, but the software, which is where the vulnerabilities may be, can be supplied by vendors from open democratic countries.
Richard Brandon is a strategic and operational IT marketeer who is focused on results for his customers. He has experience within the networking, telecoms and TV industries.