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Vol. 55, No. 3, 2019
This issue introduces Fujitsu's approach to next-generation-network architecture and technologies especially to creating new services, development of safe and secure network infrastructure solutions for supporting service operation, and so on.
Our social and business environments are changing drastically with the development of ICT. Today, services provided through ICT are inseparable from our daily activities. Technical fields related to network technology anticipate a wide diffusion of the fifth-generation mobile communications system (5G), which is expected to open up new business opportunities for many enterprises. As business environments undergo such transformations, a network system able to meet diversifying customer needs is critical. To support digital transformations in various business settings, Fujitsu has designed a network architecture that flexibly adapts to diverse forms of ICT usage at customer sites that is suitable for the coming 5G/IoT era. This network architecture is comprised of three layers: one for digital business operations, one for physical networks, and one for connecting the previous two through virtual networks to coordinate their respective value-creation cycles. This paper outlines Fujitsu's perspectives on 5G/IoT era network requirements and describes the three-layered network architecture. It also discusses the creation of social value through this next-generation network.
The wide diffusion of IoT and devices such as smartphones today encourages the digitization and accumulation of various types of information about people and objects as data. A worldwide trend to create new value from this data by leveraging big data analysis and AI technology is gaining impetus. One of the initiatives in this trend is to enable businesses and institutions of different industries to mutually provide, share, and use their data. In order to realize this, it will be necessary to solve challenges in terms of security measures, privacy protection, and so on regarding data and to have a platform that facilitates safe and secure distribution of, and access to, this data. Hence, Fujitsu has developed Fujitsu VPX Technology for data distribution networks, applying blockchain technology to enable the distribution and use of this data. Fujitsu has also provided Fujitsu Intelligent Data Service Virtuora DX Data Distribution and Utilization Service based on this technology. This paper explains Fujitsu VPX Technology and Virtuora DX.
"Smart factory" is a recent buzzword that refers to the increased utilization of IoT technology at production sites. This trend increases the importance of network environments especially wireless network, to connect everything. A diverse range of things must be connected to a production site network, from production facilities, various sensors, and cameras, to people working on site. However, their locations are not necessarily fixed. The use of wireless networks to efficiently connect these things to the network is increasing. However, production sites need to change line arrangements in accordance with the products being manufactured, which disturbs the onsite radio environment, necessitating a redesign of the network configuration. The wide variety of connected devices, including sensors and production facilities use different wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This situation is likely to cause signal interferences. Fujitsu offers technology to solve these challenges for customers and help them with the installation of wireless networks at their factories. This paper describes Fujitsu's wireless solution that ensures reliable wireless connections even at production sites with complex configurations. It also introduces its technology for visualizing a radio environment as a vital element for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the network, and its technology for designing the optimal wireless device configuration.
With its commercialization envisaged for 2020 and later, the fifth-generation mobile communication system (5G) is expected to make communication networks evolve further through significant improvement of performance enabling communication capacity, low latency, high reliability, and simultaneous connections with massive numbers of devices. The 5G system may be used, for example, to transmit monitoring camera data, watch real-time free-viewpoint video in a stadium, or control manufacturing robots in a factory. To increase network capacity in order to accommodate such services, technologies such as small cells and beam multiplexing technology are being considered. However, it is necessary to solve the problem of communication quality degradation caused by inter-cell and inter-beam interference. To address this problem, Fujitsu has developed two technologies. One is dynamic virtual cell control using the centralized baseband unit (C-BBU) to reduce inter-cell interference. The other is configuring interleaved beamforming with inter-subarray coding to minimize inter-beam interference by antenna configuration and inter-subarray coding. This paper describes the merits of these technologies, application scenarios, and evaluation results through simulations and experiments.
The fifth generation mobile communication system (5G) will soon become mainstream. This technology enables enhanced network environments with enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine type communications (mMTC), which can be leveraged in creating and providing highly sophisticated digital services. It is important that these services are provided with flexibility in accordance with individual users' unique environments and situations. Fujitsu's Multi-access Edge Cloud realizes an innovative platform that can provide such services in the 5G era. It realizes a distributed network system that makes it easier to provide various digital services through the efficient usage of computing resource deployed over the whole network. Fujitsu conducted a field trial of this multi-access edge cloud in FY2017 using a live commercial network, and verified that it helped to make providing services at the edge of the network (appropriate points where the service requirements can be handled) easier. This paper outlines the features comprising the Fujitsu's Multi-access Edge Cloud that makes it easy to provide diverse 5G-era digital services and describes the major technologies to realize it.
Development of the fifth-generation mobile communications system (5G) is underway, with commercialization expected around 2020. In the 5G era, new services (5G services) based on new technologies are anticipated, including distribution of high-definition video, autonomous vehicles enabled by low-latency connections, and data utilization obtained by wide variety of IoT devices. 5G optical networks will also require an array of technologies, as part of the social infrastructure supporting 5G services. As such, Fujitsu is developing technologies for efficient transmission of large volumes of data with low latency, and for automation of complex network management, among others. This paper outlines the challenges pertaining to 5G optical networks and describes the technologies Fujitsu has developed to address these challenges.
Network Development and Management for Enabling Services
Cloud systems continue to grow as smartphones and cloud services become more prevalent. While their operation management has become highly automated by leveraging software technology, automation has not advanced in terms of building and managing networks. For example, software-defined networking (SDN) has only been partially adopted within cloud system networks despite its anticipated potential for automating network management by using software definition technology. Meanwhile, existing networks such as enterprise networks still need to be constructed manually and managed by experts. Pursuing the automation of network management, Fujitsu has been proactive in SDN-related activities, introducing it to businesses and telecommunication network carriers and participating in various communities related to open source software. This paper describes an end-to-end network design and development technology, which we have developed for automating network management. It also introduces a traffic abnormality detection technology designed to automatically identify abnormal network activities through AI-enabled data analysis. In addition, it explains about the Fujitsu Network Virtuora series, which uses these technologies to realize the automation of network management.
Today, networks connect computing resources, front devices, and applications that are scattered across many places, including those on-premise and in the cloud, allowing people and society as a whole to enjoy diverse services. However, a failure or degradation of a network has the potential to cause considerable problems to connected devices and services. To prevent these risks, a "conscious" network system with autonomous operation and maintenance capabilities will be required. Such a system will detect the slightest irregularities in the network as early signs of errors and prevent possible failures or degradation from occurring. It will also ensure that the services remain available without having to modify end users' systems or make users aware of the network problems. To realize such systems, Fujitsu has been working on development of the technologies necessary for integrated network monitoring: detection of early signs through Internet Protocol (IP) packet behavior analysis and optical transport signal quality monitoring, optical wavelength reassignment, and self-diagnosis for IP networks. This paper describes these technologies required for the realization of the conscious network.
As businesses actively employ cloud technology, enterprise internal networks are reaching a major turning point. Some businesses want to migrate from a conventional closed and centralized enterprise network to a new, hybrid network that enables them to access and use software as a service (SaaS) directly on the Internet from their corporate locations. However, to realize this hybrid network, issues in terms of the operability of increasingly complex office networks with multiple sites and security measures within sites must be solved. Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories approach these issues based on the concept of a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and reasonable malware security measures. We also pursue R&D of security technology that achieves both greater convenience and security. This paper describes the efforts made at Fujitsu to realize a hybrid network optimized for multi-cloud environments.
There is growing interest in IoT as a technology to realize business innovation and contribute to a safe and secure society. However, there are challenges concerning devices in the field area such as sensors, whose features and reliability are limited compared to PCs, and this is compounded by the fact that the wireless networks used by these devices are also unstable. As we are about to enter the era of IoT, which will involve these kinds of devices, Fujitsu Laboratories recognizes the growing importance accorded to the operation and management of diverse devices out in the field area. We thus pursue research and development of device virtualization technology, fault management technology, and secure operation technology, which respectively enable devices to be connected easily, stably, and securely. This paper describes these three types of technologies and explains the field area management platform that uses them, with examples of applications.