Moving Networks Forward – Tail-f in Deutsche Telekom’s Terastream Project

It is exciting to have the opportunity to talk about customers making truly transformative advances in the midst of an industry that is currently running mostly on rumoured software projects and future release dates. Even more exciting when the customer is running the project in a very open and non-secretive fashion because they truly believe it has the potential to change the way both network equipment and networks are designed and built.

Today we’re announcing our participation in Deutsche Telekom’s Terastream project as one of the key vendors and partners.

It could easily be argued that Terastream is the most ambitious and complete IP transformation project in the history of our industry. Four things worth mentioning:

  • The network is built around a service-oriented and multi-vendor SDN model leveraging NETCONF and YANG for programmability. (More on this below).
  • All network services are moved from the network to datacenters as applications on commodity hardware
  • All transport is done by 100G optics tightly integrated with routers removing the need for optical subsystems
  • It is IPv6 from the ground up
  • And the network is up and running

We are very happy and proud to deliver the core component for the multi-vendor SDN features of the project with our NCS product. The key challenges around what DT is doing in this field are summarised well in this quote from Axel Clauberg, VP, Aggregation, Transport, IP and Fixed Access at DT:

The reason for us doing SDN is that we can program services instead of re-architecting the network and the OSS for every new service.

We are not necessarily interested in programming the network, but programming the network services is key for us – this concept drastically reduces our time to market from years to weeks.

NCS provides the service abstractions required to fulfill the requirement on programming services. It also provides strict separation of service- and device models allowing DT to deploy multiple vendor’s products and versions with no impact on service integrity. All this implemented using device-level transactions.

Oh, and did I mention that it is up and running?