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Network Technologies

FSTJ 2013-7 Cover Image

2013-7 (Vol.49, No.3)

This special issue introduces Fujitsu's energetic efforts in the area of network infrastructures with the aim of creating a prosperous and enriching society for the future.

2013-7 (Vol.49, No.3) Contents

1. Preface (554 KB)
Our goal is to work with our customers to create a "Human-Centric Intelligent Society" that goes beyond the traditional individual/corporate/industry framework, one that is prosperous and satisfying and that is driven by ever-evolving ICT. We will do this by making people the center of our activities and placing priority on human sensitivities and emotions. ---[Tamotsu Inoue, Corporate Vice President, and Executive Vice President, Network Business]
2. Current and Future Infrastructure Networks Aimed at Resolving Issues Related to the Changing and Diversifying Activities in Society (1.01 MB )
Communication is the basis for social interaction, and users continue to demand and be provided various new services. Communication networks supporting these new services have been developed, and connection technologies have evolved. Smartphones and cloud services are becoming key components of everyday life, so communication network providers now have a social responsibility to provide reliable connections. This paper discusses a number of issues facing network and service providers as communication changes both qualitatively and quantitatively and as social infrastructure becomes more and more important. It introduces the latest technologies from Fujitsu's research initiatives that resolve these issues, gives specific examples, and discusses future trends and directions in infrastructure networks. ---[Kazuyoshi Kumatani, Eiichiro Takahashi, Tsuguo Kato]
3. Visualization Technology for Flow-based Networks and Communication Services (1,010 KB)
The huge volume of communication requests experienced immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 made it impossible to provide communication services with the usual quality. An effective approach to absorbing such congestion would be to implement a communication infrastructure based on server virtualization that could effectively provide the communication resources needed to match demand. Additionally, the transport networks connecting the communication resources in the affected areas were severely damaged, which prevented the provision of sufficient communication paths. An effective approach to using communication paths more effectively even under such conditions would be to use a more flexible routing method, such as flow-based routing. Flow-based routing is also effective for dynamically changing routes in accordance with changes in communication resources. At the same time, there is a need for visualization technology to accurately visualize the operation status of such dynamically reconfigurable virtual resources and to facilitate the operation of services. Methods are thus needed to construct logical representations for resources (separate from physical representations), to enable resource status to be grasped by filtering only quality-related information on specific services, and to visualize massive traffic flow in a form understandable by operators. This paper summarizes the operation of a communication system constructed with such dynamically reconfigurable communication resources. It also presents the problems in managing the configuration of a flow-based control network and describes Fujitsu's development of visualization technology to solve these problems. ---[Yoshihiro Kubota, Masahiko Ohashi, Kinji Kawaguchi]
4. Application of Server Virtualization Technology to Communication Services (1,019 KB)
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, the volume of traffic on the mobile communications network spiked to about 50 to 60 times the normal busy-hour volume, thereby congesting the system and making it difficult to provide users with stable services. To provide stable services even during times of congestion caused by a disaster, Fujitsu is researching and developing the use of virtualization technology for flexibly and quickly allocating machine resources to communication services. This control technology is expected to improve the communication rate of priority services by decreasing the allocation of resources to services deemed low priority at the time of a disaster such as video and rich content delivery while increasing the allocation of resources to high-priority services such as voice calls and mail, which typically would be for obtaining disaster-related information and for checking on the well-being of people in the disaster area. This paper introduces Fujitsu's approach to establishing a server virtualization infrastructure for communication services. ---[Masaaki Muraai, Tatsuhiro Furuya, Takashi Imai, Shoichi Kimura]
5. Network Virtualization for Large-Scale Data Centers (1.39 MB )
The growing use of cloud technology by large enterprises to support their business continuity planning (BCP) and disaster recovery planning (DRP) is leading to an increase in the scale of the systems used by data center operators. As this increase in scale progresses, it is becoming more and more difficult to build virtual and physical networks using existing technologies. For example, the number of virtual local area networks (VLANs) that can be built in a data center using VLAN technology is limited to 4094 because of the bit length limit of a VLAN ID. With physical networks, inefficiencies in network line use due to the use of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) switching and the complexity of network design are becoming issues. In this paper, we summarize the conditions and technical requirements faced by large-scale data centers. We also discuss various approaches to meeting these requirements such as extending the number of virtual networks and building physical networks using an alternative to STP switching, compare them, and discuss their characteristics. ---[Tatsuhiro Ando, Osamu Shimokuni, Katsuhito Asano]
6. Network Infrastructure Technology Supporting Parallelization and Multiplexing of Services (986 KB)
The increasingly fierce competition between information and communications technology (ICT) companies is increasing the need for them to carefully cultivate markets, by first starting small and then later expanding processing power so as not to affect existing services. Parallelizing services is an important technology in this process while multiplexing is an essential technology in building highly reliable systems. Furthermore, services are being added and modified with increasing frequency in order to handle diversifying customer needs in a timely manner, and the number of service users and smart devices, such as smartphones, is increasing rapidly. For these reasons, packet data traffic on IP networks is growing and diversifying more and more quickly. This paper describes network infrastructure technologies for creating scalable infrastructures that can appropriately distribute diverse and high-volume packet data to parallelized and multiplexed server systems providing highly reliable and high-volume services and that enable services to be added and modified frequently. It also discusses initiatives at Fujitsu in this area. ---[Yuzuru Iida, Hiroaki Tanaka]
7. Technologies Supporting Smart Meter Networks (1,019 KB)
The power crisis that Japan confronted in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 underscored the need for managing and controlling power consumption, especially in terms of avoiding planned outages caused by insufficient power supply, visualizing power consumption, and conserving power. It also reinforced the importance of using smart grids as an effective means of meeting this need. A desire has already been expressed for the early introduction of smart meters in the last one mile of the Smart Grid on the customer side. The smart meter networks that will connect the portions of the power network closest to the smart meters will one day be considered a vital part of the social infrastructure. As such, they must be able to collect information such as power usage, provide for remote control of smart meters by power companies, and support visualization of power consumption. This paper describes the technologies developed by Fujitsu for satisfying these requirements for smart meter networks. ---[Isamu Kitagawa, Shinichi Sekiguchi]
8. Network Technology for a Smart Community (961 KB)
The concept of a "smart community" is attracting attention as a means of achieving a regional energy management system (EMS) that connects houses and public/commercial facilities along with their air conditioning, lighting, and other electronic devices to a network. However, connecting diverse devices to a network presents two challenging problems. One is the mixture of device/industry-specific communication standards, which makes it difficult to connect the devices to a single network. The other is the lack of a WAN communication protocol that can establish a link to the on-premise LAN that interconnects devices, which makes it difficult to seamlessly connect the server in the cloud to premise devices. In response to these problems, Fujitsu has created a function for normalizing the differences in device communication standards and a gateway function to enable the normalized device data format to be commonly handled in both LANs and WANs. These functions make it possible for service providers to develop services using a uniform and straightforward device control interface without having to worry about different communication standards. Fujitsu has commercialized these functions in the form of a smart sensing platform (SSPF) and has shown them to be effective in simplifying and streamlining the service development process through a home energy management system (HEMS) experiment. ---[Yusuke Ejiri, Masahide Tajiri, Ai Yano]
9. Service Platform Technology for Accelerating Use of Network-ready Devices (886 KB)
An increasing number of devices, including home appliances, audio-visual equipment, energy-related devices, and healthcare devices, are network-ready. While the focus at present is on smartphone-based services for monitoring and controlling the state of individual devices, the spread of advanced services for simultaneously controlling a variety of devices is anticipated. However, the control procedures and functions of network-ready devices differ significantly between vendors and even between models. Moreover, they are frequently upgraded. As a result, the development of services that use various types of devices is hampered. A service platform that can conceal such differences among individual devices is thus becoming increasingly important. We have developed a service platform that models any device as a virtual device having common properties for that device type and that provides application programming interfaces (APIs) for controlling these virtual devices. These APIs enable a service developer to control an actual device by controlling its virtual device, which negates the need for detailed knowledge of individual devices and promotes efficient development of services. Fujitsu has applied this service platform to its "Smart Sensing Platform (SSPF)." ---[Jun Kakuta, Shoji Naito, Ryuichi Matsukura]
10. Technological Trends in Mobile Access Systems (1.15 MB )
The amount of mobile data traffic is more than doubling each year because of the increase in mobile video traffic and spread of smartphones. Although a recent survey has predicted that the annual rate of increase in global mobile traffic will gradually slow in the future, we have to develop effective technologies to cope with this continuously growing amount of mobile data traffic. The Long Term Evolution (LTE) system, which offers higher speed and greater capacity than the 3G system, launched a commercial service in Japan and other countries to deal with the growing mobile data traffic. This paper describes the technological trends in the LTE mobile access system, and introduces an LTE macro base station (eNode B equipment) and LTE femto base station that are under development. It also describes the technological trends in an LTE-Advanced mobile access system which is an enhanced version of LTE and which is expected to be put to practical use in the near future after 2014. ---[Hiroyuki Seki, Morihiko Minowa]
11. Optical Access Technology for High-speed Broadband Services (1.10 MB )
Recently, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to support high-speed broadband services has been spreading widely and the number of FTTH contracts has passed 20 million in Japan. There are high expectations that optical access networks will become even faster and handle larger amounts of data so that they can be used for services that deliver high-resolution images, for peer-to-peer (P2P) services, and as a way to remove load for mobile services that are becoming increasingly faster. It is also hoped that these networks will serve as infrastructure to help cope with the improving quality of various services and help provide new cloud services. We have been providing a mass production-based GE-PON product supporting this popular FTTH and developed the 10G-EPON system, which applied ASICs of the main PON processing functions, and also an equipment power-saving mechanism based on the IEEE standard. Through this technological development, we are going to cope with demands for high-speed and large-capacity FTTH access networks. This paper describes the trends of standardization and technological development in next-generation optical access networks, and presents our approach to future work from the viewpoint of these trends and based on system development. ---[Hirokazu Shimada, Tetsuya Yokomoto, Motoyuki Takizawa, Hiroaki Yoshida, Haruo Yamashita]
12. Ultra-High-Speed Core Transport to Handle Rapid Growth in Traffic (1.26 MB )
There has recently been a speed up of mobile traffic, spread of optical access and increase in speed and capacity of communication between data centers for purposes such as cloud services. This has caused a rapid increase in traffic in the core transport network and handling it is becoming an urgent challenge. Including international submarine networks, the core transport network is transitioning from 40 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s WDM. In these circumstances, Fujitsu has successfully developed digital coherent technology which is expected to dramatically improve frequency utilization efficiency compared to the existing technology. This new technology has been applied to an optical transport system for terrestrial FLASHWAVE 9500 and submarine FLASHWAVE S660, and released as a product. This paper gives an overview of technology that is expected to help solve problems caused by the continuous increase in the amount of traffic. ---[Masahiro Shioda, Izumi Yokota, Yasushi Sugaya, Shigeaki Saito, Hiroshi Ogiwara]
13. Millimeter-wave Impulse Radio Technology (1.21 MB )
With a drastic increase in the amount of network traffic in recent years, there is now greater demand for large-capacity transmission even in multi-radio systems which are infrastructure for communication transmission lines. However, with conventional multi-radio systems it is difficult to ensure a wide frequency band and in addition equipment is required for multi-radio channels owing to the limitations of modem technology, and this means that systems consist of large equipment and there is a big problem in terms of handling and economy before multi-radio systems can be put to practical use. Hence, Fujitsu used the millimeter-waveband where it is possible to ensure a wide bandwidth, and in particular the E-band (70-80 GHz band), which is less susceptible to attenuation caused by the atmosphere. We utilized impulse radio technology that successfully achieved 10 Gb/s radio communication in a proof of principle experiment, and developed a very compact (4L, 4.5 kg) large-capacity piece of transmission equipment (maximum transfer rate: 3.6 Gb/s). This paper introduces the features and key technology of E-band impulse radio equipment, and the configuration and characteristics of the equipment we developed. It also gives some application examples. ---[Hiroki Hayashi, Yasuhiro Nakasha, Masahiro Aota, Naoji Sato]
14. Automated Network Control Technologies (1.09 MB )
As cloud and mobile services continue to grow significantly, networks need to be more agile, flexible, and optimized than ever before. Today, many pieces of equipment deployed in both mobile wireless and transport networks are configured manually, and are not necessarily meeting the agility and flexibility required. Also, there is a limit to how instantaneously infrastructure can be updated to support rapidly increasing network demand, and network optimization is needed. Under these circumstances, automated network control and optimization technology is becoming more important to support continuously changing cloud and mobile services. This paper introduces automated network control and optimization technology as well as its potential for IT interworking. ---[Kazuyuki Miura, Takeshi Miyagawa, Hirotaka Morita, Akio Iwata]
15. Technology to Operate and Maintain Transport System for Handling Spikes and Variations in Traffic (1.21 MB )
The amount of mobile data traffic around the world has been growing rapidly in recent years. This is due, in part, to the increasing number of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Such devices allow the user to access various types of image data, streamed content or anything in the cloud, and they account for much more data traffic than ever before. This tendency is also seen in Japan, where the resources that are available currently fluctuate depending on the demand of traffic, and they are forecast to be depleted especially in urban areas in the immediate future. In this paper, first we review Japan's current network technologies and examine the problems that they have. Then, we present Fujitsu's new technology which will be key to solving those problems. Next, we consider what will happen when this new technology is applied, including some new problems that will arise when operating networks. Last, we refer to Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON), a concept that various parties are discussing with a view to making it internationally standardized, and depict future networks. ---[Hisashi Morikawa, Toshimitsu Handa, Norio Kamon]
16. High-availability and Low-latency Tap for Network Monitoring (762 KB)
Network operators increasingly need to monitor signals on networks so that they can monitor the service quality, measure the traffic performance and perform billing services. In ordinary cases, a small device called a network tap is inserted in series in a communication line to monitor the signals on the line. This network tap needs to have high availability and low latency because it is inserted in series in the network. In this paper, we describe an outline of and problems with network taps, and introduce our new network tap that is being developed. It uses our own unique technology to support 1000BASE-T and enable high availability and low latency. ---[Toshihide Tsuzuki]