Press Release - For immediate use April 22, 2013


NEC BIGLOBE Virtualizes the BIGLOBE Data Center
Using State-of-the-Art OpenFlow Technology


JAPAN--April 22, 2013--NEC BIGLOBE, Ltd. (Headquarters: Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo; President and CEO: Yoshiyuki Koseki; BIGLOBE) announced today that it has recently virtualized its data center through software that provides unified control of servers and networks. The combination of this virtualized network with BIGLOBE's previously virtualized servers has reduced the time required to build a server network (infrastructure) from approximately two weeks to just ten minutes.

Data center server virtualization began gaining momentum near 2008. This has resulted in a wide range of benefits that include the ability to "build servers in a matter of minutes" and the ability for users to "access as many servers as they want, whenever they want." For networks, however, operational efficiency has continued to be a challenge. For example, complicated configurations were required for numerous components every time a network was built or modified. Limited flexibility and scale has also been a complicated issue for networks. This is exemplified by the fact that individual system integrations were needed to deploy an advanced network, involving such factors as security enhancement, redundancy, and integration with another company's cloud. To solve this issue, BIGLOBE has enabled quick, flexible infrastructure deployment with Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and data center virtualization.

Overview of the virtualized BIGLOBE Data Center is as follows:

  1. SDN deployment with NEC's OpenFlow technology
    The BIGLOBE Data Center network was virtualized using ProgrammableFlow infrastructure, which was uniquely developed by NEC based on the OpenFlow (Note 1) technology for deploying SDN. SDN operation started in September 2012.

  2. Cloud controller that enables data center virtualization
    BIGLOBE developed a unique cloud controller that integrates virtualized servers with a virtualized network and controls all of them as one, enabling data center virtualization. Operation commenced in April this year. The controller automates work that was previously done manually, including the confirmation of network resources, assigning and setting IP address and interface numbers to each component, and connecting the server and network. As a result, infrastructure can be built quickly and easily by entering roughly ten data items, including the number of servers and the type of networking equipment. This reduces the time it takes to build infrastructure from approximately two weeks to just ten minutes.

  3. Multiple sites connected with VXLAN
    Virtualized switches are interconnected via VXLAN, a tunneling protocol, making it possible to interconnect multiple sites without having to reconfigure switches and routers at the physical layer. This makes it possible, for example, to connect the mission-critical system of a company, or an existing system in another company's data center, with the service developed in the BIGLOBE Data Center.

  4. Modularized controllers provide adaptability to the latest equipment and technology
    The cloud controller is modularized for individual functions, such as OpenFlow controller, network service controller, and server controller. These controllers were developed individually, and are therefore ready to be upgraded individually for each function. This means that they are ready to adapt quickly to a new product or standard or to a change in user needs. In addition, because the cloud controller was developed on an open-source basis, it is compatible with a diverse range of equipment without vendor constraint.

BIGLOBE will continue to pursue advanced applications of OpenFlow technology, aiming to develop a data center flexible enough to eliminate the need for infrastructure design. Moreover, BIGLOBE aims to enable services and applications to be provided more quickly, to reduce the worker-hours required for building infrastructure and to create an environment that allows users to concentrate on development of applications and services.

Note 1:
OpenFlow is a next-generation technology, which allows centralized control of a network. OpenFlow implements Software-Defined Networking (SDN), a concept that enables network configurations and functions to be programmed with software.

* All company names and product names mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.




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