08/03/2011 14:30:00
NEC takes lead in OpenFlow technology for next generation networks in Europe

NEC provides OpenFlow technology to European Research projects

London, March 8, 2011- NEC today announced that its Programmable Flow switches (*) are accelerating the deployment of the OpenFlow (**) technology in Europe, by providing them to several research sites.

The Programmable Flow Switches will be used to build the European OpenFlow infrastructure that will be made available to the general R&D community in the EU. This will aid network experiments and application development.

OpenFlow experts at NEC Laboratories Europe are participating in two projects of the European Union’s Research Programme 7 (***).

The testbed project ‘OFELIA’ will build an experimental facility for research groups to run experiments using the OpenFlow technology for addressing the Internet’s architectural design limitations. NEC Programmable Flow switches are used in experiments on dynamically and precisely controlling the flow of packets in networks.

The 'CHANGE' project will address the central problem of the Internet’s huge size and complexity, which makes the introduction of new core network technologies very difficult. The solution of CHANGE will be based on flow-processing platforms instantiated at critical points in the network and leveraging OpenFlow. Directing flows that need special processing through a set of these platforms will provide an essential mechanism for allowing faster innovation and deployment of new network technologies.

The OpenFlow technology is designed as an outcome of the Future Internet Research community to provide a new paradigm for packet switching to reduce the complexity inherited in today’s IP / internet architectures.

NEC switches have been supporting OpenFlow since the earliest deployment on an experimental network at Stanford University in the U.S. Prototype development started in November 2008 and a more comprehensive deployment started in April 2009. NEC provided the first hardware accelerated OpenFlow switch and has one of the most mature OpenFlow implementations.

Dr Heinrich Stüttgen, head of NEC Laboratories Europe says, “NEC is currently developing the Programmable Flow Switch based on OpenFlow designed for the global communication market. The NEC laboratories are excited to be in the centre of such a revolutionary area. MIT Technology Review recently heralded OpenFlow as one of the Top 10 emerging technologies and we see it having a real impact on the way the communication networks operate.”

Dr Stüttgen continues, “We are committed to R&D in OpenFlow in Europe and our involvement in these two projects is proof of this and our leading position in OpenFlow technology.”


(*) Programmable Flow Switch:

Programmable flow switches are a new style of network equipment where, unlike conventional routers, simple packet switching mechanisms and control functions are separated. Users can freely develop and operate control middleware independently of the switching mechanism. This equipment enables the realization of advanced new technologies that link networks and cloud computing.

(**) The OpenFlow Consortium

The OpenFlow Consortium (www.openflowswitch.org) was established in 2008 and aims to popularize OpenFlow and maintain the OpenFlow Switch Specification. Membership in the consortium is open and free for anyone at a school, college, university, or government agency worldwide; as well as individual members who are not employed by companies that manufacture or sell Ethernet switches, routers or wireless access points.

(***) European Union’s Research Programme 7 (FP7)

FP7 (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/) is the financial tool through which the European Union supports research and development activities covering almost all scientific disciplines.

The OFELIA project

The OFELIA (OpenFlow in Europe: Linking Infrastructure and Applications; www.fp7-ofelia.eu) project will set up a testbed facility based on OpenFlow Technology and invite for experiments. The project consortium consists of 10 partners, including operators, vendors and research institutions.

The Change Project

The CHANGE project (www.change-project.eu) aims to facilitate innovation on the internet by developing flow-processing network platforms. The project consortium consists of 11 European partners from industry and academia.


For more information contact:

Takehiko Kato
NEC Europe
t:+44 (0)20 8752 2794
e: Takehiko.Kato@EMEA.NEC.COM

About NEC Europe Ltd.
NEC Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, a leader in the integration of IT network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. NEC Europe is building upon its heritage and reputation for innovation and quality by providing its expertise, solutions and services to a broad range of customers, from telecom operators to enterprises and the public sector.  For additional information, please visit the NEC Europe home page at: http://www.nec.com/emea

About NEC Laboratories Europe
NEC Europe Ltd. established NEC Laboratories Europe in 1994. The Laboratories are located in Heidelberg, Germany and South Ruislip, UK. NEC Laboratories are conducting research and development on cutting-edge ICT technologies, in particular Future Internet, next generation fixed and mobile networks, the Internet-of-Things, Intelligent Transportation Systems, multimedia, security and service saving energy and protecting our environment. Special emphasis is placed on solutions meeting the needs of NEC’s European customers. For additional information, please visit the NEC Laboratories Europe home page at: http://uk.nec.com/en_GB/emea/about/neclab_eu/