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AT&T and Colt develop API for SDN-to-SDN interoperability

AT&T and Colt Technology Services have developed an application programming interface (API) that lets SDN architectures from different network service providers work together, and used it to integrate the on-demand capabilities of their respective networks.

The partners claim that this is the first successful trial to show software-defined network (SDN) interoperability.

Such SDN interoperability will give enterprise users and business customers the ability to scale, add and change their global networks in minutes, even if the physical networks belong to different operators.

During the trial, AT&T provisioned network services between the east coast of the US and various locations in Europe. Thanks to the software integration, users could reserve ports, order a point-to-point Ethernet service, flex the bandwidth up and down, and turn down the service on demand.

The proof of concept showed that SDN-managed services can be set up and run across multiple networks in just minutes. This creates a template for service providers to deploy new services in near real time over each other's networks, the companies said.

“This proof of concept is a key building block giving enterprises the power to provision scalable, flexible network services on-demand. The API in our trial makes managing integrated SDNs accessible, agile, flexible, and easy to adopt,” said Rajiv Datta, chief technology officer, Colt. “As use cases and APIs continue to evolve, we’ll be able to add attributes, services and enhancements that will drive further innovation. This will be critical as SDN becomes increasingly important in our business climate.”

AT&T and Colt expect that these capabilities will drive further industry collaboration and standardisation. They plan to share the network-to-network interface and open API code with standards bodies and industry forums.

“Our work at AT&T Labs and AT&T Foundry, and our collaboration with Colt will help enable customers to have more cost-efficient, flexible and adaptable networks,” said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president, Offer Management and Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions. “Businesses looking to provide a seamless connected environment for their customers can benefit greatly from a unified industry ecosystem that’s focused on interoperability.”

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