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Tokyo, Japan, 2014/02/24 - NEC Corporation is building a "common station network" utilizing SDN (Software-Defined Networking, *1) at Tokyo Station, one of the world’s busiest train stations, for the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) - NEC.com. NEC; TSE: 6701
The network is scheduled to be complete in March of this year, making it the railway industry’s first (*2) network infrastructure using SDN technology.
NEC has already delivered SDN systems to over 100 companies internationally as one of the core domains of its “Solutions for Society.” JR East decided to build this common station network as part of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure supporting its ongoing launch of information services tailored to customer needs.
Tokyo Station is a primary transportation terminal where a wide range of networks process enormous amounts of data from a variety of systems. JR East decided to build a "common station network" that utilizes SDN in order for services to be provided flexibly and quickly.
Key features of the common station network at Tokyo Station are as follows:
1. Large-scale network infrastructure that can be shared among diverse systems by utilizing SDN
(1) The common station network utilizes NEC’s UNIVERGE PF Series, the world’s first commercial product to support OpenFlow (*3), a key technology for implementing SDN.
(2) Virtualizing the network with SDN makes it possible to integrate the transmissions of individually constructed networks, including train scheduling, platform image and ticket gate networks, to transmit to the common station network.
2. Responds flexibly and quickly to new services and changes in the station environment
The common station network will enable the integrated control of the entire network by visualizing it. This makes it possible to quickly conduct network construction, updates and maintenance without touching the physical networks. This also enables rapid network construction, making it possible to quickly provide new services that satisfy customer needs.
NEC aims to capitalize on this Tokyo Station project for JR East in order to continue advancing its SDN centered solutions for companies, public offices, carriers and data centers worldwide.
Based on its Mid-term Management Plan 2015, the NEC Group is working towards the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Going forward, NEC aims to develop solutions for a wide range of social issues, as a company that creates value for society through the promotion of its “Solutions for Society,” which provide advanced social infrastructure utilizing ICT.
[Appendix] Common station network at Tokyo Station
(*1) SDN (Software-Defined Networking): An architecture whereby networks are controlled by software.
(*2) According to NEC Corporation research as of February 24, 2014.
(*3) OpenFlow is a standard that enables the control of networks to be centralized by separating the network control functions from a switch and moving all of them to a controller. It is one of the methods of implementing SDN. NEC Corporation is one of the founding members of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit standards body of OpenFlow.
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