NTT SDN Global

NTT Takes NFV/SDN Services Global

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  September 24, 2014

NTT Communications (News - Alert) Group earlier this year announced that its Arcstar Universal One services, about which INTERNET TELEPHONY has reported previously, are now available in more than 190 countries. The global telco is breaking new ground with these services, which leverage NFV and SDN technologies to enable enterprise CIOs to use a portal to configure and pay for new network services on the fly – allowing these businesses to be more agile and potentially save big money.

“We are the first providers to really make these services available,” Takashi Ooi,vice president of enterprise network services of the network services division at NTT Communications Corp., said during a press conference from Japan.

Most other service providers are testing SDN, but NTT Communications is actually providing NFV and SDN services commercially, he said. And he added that NTT is many years ahead of other service providers on this front.

Presenting alongside Ooi was Vab Goel, founder and chairman of Virtela (News - Alert), the managed and cloud-based network services company that NTT Communications Corp. acquired in January. Goel said NTT Communications is using an in-house SDN/NFV solution, which includes the controller, to power Universal One. (Virtela was a niche VPN provider in the U.S., was investing in OSS/BSS and portal technology, and had talked about its NFV/SDN roadmap before being acquired.)

Goel said that with these new NTT Communications services, CIOs and other IT types will be able to activate and deactivate services as needed, have access to those services within a few minutes of inputting the portal request, and pay for those services on a per-use basis rather than engaging with telcos on three- to five-year contract commitments.

“CIOs are facing the biggest challenge of their lifetime,” said Goel, who noted that businesses need to be able to be agile, to reach financial and product launch goals, and are being pushed by more tech-savvy employees to deliver higher level networking experiences. “I think the CIOs need to transform. They need to adopt a disruptive technology…. It can’t be a back-end strategy.”

NTT Communications provided a firewall use case to demonstrate the benefits of Universal One.

Traditionally an enterprise would configure its network so branch offices would connect to the public Internet by first traversing the private network to the headquarters site. But that can degrade the end user experience by adding latency. It also adds complexity and cost at the branch office sites, which as a result need local Internet access, specialized devices to make those connections, and dedicated IT staff. And it creates inconsistency in security policy, as local solutions are implemented individually, according to NTT Communications.

With Universal One, the CIO or IT staff at headquarters just uses the NTT customer portal to configure the firewall function, and then the branch office(s’) Internet traffic can connect directly and securely to the Internet, allowing for an improved end user experience, savings due to the elimination of the need investment and management in new branch appliances, and consistent security governance across the entire enterprise. NTT Communications said this could lead to a 50 percent reduction in costs, which includes both capital and operational savings.

During a press conference, NTT Communications aired a video in which CIO Senior Vice President Takanori Yukishige of All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. read a prepared statement about how his company expects to realize $4 million in annual savings from its ICT reform effort, which includes the adoption of Universal One.

In addition to the benefits that NFV and SDN deliver to enterprises, Goel added that they also benefit service providers like NTT Communications, which have traditionally spent years on new service launches (now they can do them within months) and up to $100 million in investments (now they can bankroll them with a few hundred thousand dollars). 

Edited by Maurice Nagle