Applied Research Center for Computer Networks

  • Grant accepted

On the 17th of September leaders of IT-directions and specialized service IT-organizations of the largest Russian companies, leaders of the Russian representative offices of the top-level world producers of software and hardware discussed the prospects of a new approach to the Software Defined Networks (SDN) as the architecture of computer networks. The technology was presented by it`s authors: co-founders and directors of Open Networking Foundation alliance and co-founders of Nicira company — Professor of Stanford University Nick MacKeown and Professor of Berkley University Scott Shenker. The resident of “Skolkovo” Foundation, «Applied Research Center for Computer Networks» together with it`s business associates OJSC “Rostelekom”, Intel and OJSC “Sberbank Rossiya” became the initiator of the business meeting.

The present architecture of the global network was developed in the 60′s and 70′s of the last century, when developers could not foresee the future content of consumable information. New technologies have changed and complicated the nature of networks.  The clouds and large Data centers make higher demands of networks, which are more and more hard to be fulfilled. Web servers ceased to satisfy the requirements of hosting providers and priders, owners of Data centers, telecom operators, financial and banking institutions, because it does not withstand the content of transmitted information, do not solve all the problems of virtualization, scalability and security. Operators need more «intelligent» networks, as well as improvements of network monitoring and managing tools. Software-defined networks (SDN), which runs on the basis of OpenFlow protocol, meet these requirements.

Today the idea of SDN is the most «hot» in the world of computer networks of a new generation. In 2011 Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo even organized a public organization Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which aim was to promote and standardize Software-Defined Networks and to coordinate the development of opened network protocol OpenFlow.

«Russia and the SDN — it’s a perfect marriage, which is to be held in heaven» — said Nick McKeon. He explained that Russia, with its traditionally strong School of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics and the best programmers in the world, is a fertile ground for the introduction and development of the SDN technology. «There are both scientific and business possibilities for self-realization in SDN. I hope that 6-5 first-class start-ups may grow on it`s basis «- the idea was picked up by venture investor, founder and managing partner of «Almaz Capital Partners», member of the Directors Committee of «Skolkovo» Foundation Alexander Galitsky.

The rapid traffic growth (40-50% per year) gives rise to the growth of data and information rate, and the cost of services for Russian users didn`t change in the last 7-8 years. The operator should prepare ways for reduction of the capital and operating inputs. The participants learned how SDN technology will affect the profit increase, the productivity, the realization and testing of new functions, administration, security, and Cloud solutions. SDN allows one to create a flexible, protected networks, which have fewer problems with traffic passing than traditional networks, but which are at the same time less expensive in points of creating and managing.

Representatives of OJSC “Rostelekom” and Intel told about a concrete application of SDN-technology to their IT-architecture.

Camil Isaev, the Project Manager of Intel Research and Development in Russia, told about the Intel`s commutator which works with opened protocol OpenFlow. The project manager of Research and Development Department of OJSC «Rostelecom» Alexey Aksenov imparted plans of the construction of distributed Data centers networks: «We expect that the SDN technology will help us to promote the provision of new services. And thanks’ to the opportunities of SDN we have the ability to look closely at backbone networks.» By the way, «Rostelecom» has already negotiated a contract with ARCCN to the amount of 21.6 million rubles. The subject of the contract is the designing and creation of Cloud platform experimental segment for Data centers based on Software-defined networks.

Today the telecoms operators’ competitive advantage is marketing ploys and unique services, but most providers use the same equipment, purchasing it from a very limited number of suppliers, which limits the ability to provide truly unique services, — sais the Head of ARCCN Ruslan Smelyanskij. – The struggle  between marketing  “bows” goes on today, not between true services. Orientation to the software (not hardware) will create such services and reduce operating costs”.

The American experts have no doubt that the future of computer networks and the Internet of the second generation is for the SDN-technology. » Everybody will turn to the SDN In 15 years, it’s inevitable, — summed up Scott Shenker. — The question is who will be the first one? Google was the first In the global networks, and this is its competitive advantage nowadays. »


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