ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Satoshi Kikuchi; hereinafter, "CTC") has signed a Distribution Agreement with Big Switch Networks(head office: California, USA; CEO: Guido Appenzeller; hereinafter, "BSN"), the first in Japan, and will today commence the provision of SDN solutions that enable network control via software. By combining in a multi-vendor environment a variety of products such as load balancer, CTC will deliver a flexible network control and management system that can be centralized and integrated. CTC will deliver this system to companies that are looking for a flexible IT infrastructure tailored to their business situation. The sales target for the first year is 1 billion yen.
With recent advances in virtualization technology and the spread of cloud computing, the IT infrastructure that companies now seek is changing from the centralization and concentration of system resources to a flexibility that offers an even better resource utilization rate, efficient management, and other benefits. Many existing network systems are controlled via physical dedicated equipment, with configuration and routing modifications in accordance with the communication situation entailing many human tasks such as the addition of equipment and manual changes to the settings of individual pieces of equipment.
SDN is the collective term for a network that is controlled by software that automates the network and allows the system to dynamically change the configuration or routing of the network, creating an unrestricted and flexible IT infrastructure. The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization established for the promotion of SDN, promotes the standardization of OpenFlow as a technology to realize SDN.
OpenFlow makes it possible to order a network by separating the control function and transmission function, generally incorporated into a single piece of networking equipment. It is therefore hailed as a promising technology that will make it easier to create links between data centers and other connected systems, by streamlining operational tasks through centralized and integrated management and enhancing the security of the network.
Products manufactured by Big Switch Networks are equipped with interfaces that are normally used in network configuration, and enable systems to be set, operated, and managed without any special knowledge about OpenFlow. Further, since these were developed with an emphasis on the ability to link up to the various products used to configure systems in multi-vendor environments, Big Switch is drawing attention as a company that makes it possible to create highly flexible systems.
SDN Solutions of CTC
By combining Big Switch products with load balancers, communications bandwidth management devices, and so forth, from CTC's current product lineup, SDN solutions will enable CTC to deliver a one-stop service that covers not only the network but the entire IT infrastructure right through to maintenance support.
This means less time needs to be spent on designing network routes and configuring individual pieces of equipment, reducing the period it takes to introduce the system by around 50 per cent compared with the current timeframe. Further, in terms of the expansion and contraction of the network, and operational tasks such as optimal routing configuration in accordance with the communications load, the entire network can be controlled and centrally managed using software, streamlining the operational system. Moreover, by linking BSN products with the IaaS/SaaS services or cloud services with cloud base software such as Open Stack*1, which like OpenFlow has been developed using open source, it is possible to build an even more flexible and efficient IT infrastructure that is highly secure.
About BSN products
|Big Network Controller||This software product is the network application platform for SDN. It delivers management function and redundancy function by operating as an OpenFlow controller to control the network.|
|Big Virtual Switch||A network virtualization application that controls the Big Network Controller. By effectively utilizing network resources, a single system can be used securely by multiple users in a multi-tenant environment, achieving cost reductions.|
|Big Tap||A cost-effective unified network monitoring application that provides network visibility using large-scale systems and operates by linking security tools, performance tools, and network packet brokers.|
CTC has been quick off the mark to engage in initiatives in respect of the virtualization and integration business, promoting cloud business company-wide. The company has also commenced demonstration experiments in virtualized multiservice data centers, and using control through software, is promoting IT infrastructure solutions that deliver flexible and efficient management based on the concept of Software Defined Infrastructure. With the launch of this service, CTC is carrying out inspections at the Technical Solution Center in the company's multi-vendor environment, as well as conducting demonstration experiments in collaboration with communications network providers that generate large volume communications transactions. Harnessing the operational know-how of the company's data center accumulated over more than 25 years of building large-scale infrastructure in multi-vendor environments, CTC supports the smooth introduction of systems to customers, helping to build flexible IT infrastructure that can be expanded or contracted in accordance with the customer's cloud base and business situation.
- *1OpenStack: Technology that creates a private cloud platform at low cost using open source cloud base software. This has been made available to the public as an OSS. CTC is a member of the executive committee and a Gold Sponsor for OpenStack Day Tokyo 2013 to be held on March 12 under the auspices of Japan OpenStack User Group. The company plans to exhibit and deliver a lecture at the event.
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