NTT Innovation Institute: SDN and NFV Technology to Harness Digital Business

Masahisa Kawashima, SVP, Product Management
While cloud technology is expected to make IT lean and agile, many companies are still struggling with costly and slow IT operations due to heavily manual network device configuration tasks. Addressing this is the Palo Alto, CA based NTT Innovation Institute, Inc. (NTTi3), which is promoting their Elastic Services Infrastructure (ESI) along with software define networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies. “With ESI, enterprises are able to replace labor-intensive network configuration tasks with software-assisted operations,” says Nina Simosko, CPO, NTTi3. NTTi3’s ESI Platform helps companies, across multiple locations, quickly and flexibly setup and manage networks and data centers to improve business infrastructure operations.

NTTi3’s Cloud Service Orchestration Platform (CSOP) delivers a set of core products that helps IT departments understand and plan their application portfolios and cloud-based operations, shifting appropriate applications to the cloud. With CSOP and ESI, companies will be able to seamlessly manage a new hybrid IT environment.

In addition, increasing security threats and diversifying applications have forced companies to beef up their infrastructures with many types of network appliances. The installation and configuration of those per-function physical devices are further slowing things down. "ESI will enable companies to add new network functions in an on-demand fashion by deploying software-based network appliances," says Masa Kawashima, SVP, NTTi3.

NTTi3 has also developed a Global Threat Intelligence Platform (GTIP). This provides companies with greater visibility and proactive defense mechanisms to fight cyber criminals. “GTIP allows businesses to have a real-time view of the dynamically evolving threat landscapes by applying advanced analytics to data gathered globally from a variety of sources, including NTT’s ICT infrastructures, communities and vendors,” explains Nina. "GTIP provides malware taint analysis, machine learning and integrated, customizable solutions for applications, services and systems. Leveraging GTIP and ESI together, NTT can protect its customers' infrastructures by instantly sensing new threats and quickly updating security functions."

As SaaS applications and public cloud infrastructures are gaining popularity, another challenge is the rapid explosion of enterprise WAN traffic. The price-per-bandwidth of MPLS-VPN is high and companies don’t want to keep purchasing additional bandwidth.
"ESI's hybrid WAN feature will add Internet bandwidth to enterprise WANs by combining MPLS-VPN circuits and Internet access lines. ESI's on-premise NFV feature will allow companies to distribute firewalls to remote offices so that SaaS-access traffic can be forwarded directly from remote offices to the Internet. The same feature can also be used to improve SaaS application performance with software-based WAN accelerators," says Masa.

Embodying the DNA of NTT’s larger R&D organization located in Japan, NTTi3’s uniqueness lies in its ability to continuously innovate and create new value-added services for IT service providers serving global enterprises. Further differentiating itself, the Silicon Valley firm delivers unique product development methodologies and focuses on commercializing its emerging technology platforms, unlike its market competitors. “The innovations inside our lab leverage our deep experience as network operators. We create intellectual property around infrastructure operations,” explains Masa.

With ESI, enterprises are able to add network functions by deploying softwarebased network appliances and replacing labor-intensive network configuration tasks with software-assisted operations

Finally, NTTi3 is also working to innovate today's business with Machine Learning technologies. Companies today need to collect data and extract intelligence to responsively address customers' demands. The challenging part is extracting intelligence because most companies do not employ data scientists. NTTi3’s Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) will solve this problem by enabling line-of-business employees with a workbench (equipped with automated parameter/algorithm selection features) to easily explore data and extract intelligence. Our MLaaS enables businesses to repeatedly and efficiently process large amount of data and gain valuable insights and actionable intelligence.

“Overall, NTTi3 is focused on allowing companies to harness digital technologies and add agility and flexibility to their IT functions,” says Nina.

NTT Innovation Institute

Palo Alto, CA

Masahisa Kawashima, SVP, Product Management and Nina Simosko, CPO

The SDN technology provider is focused on helping companies harness digital technologies, and add agility and flexibility to their IT function.