World's First SRv6 Industry Roundtable a Success, Accelerating SRv6 Commercial Process

Paris, France - (NewMediaWire) - April 11, 2019 - The world's first SRv6 industry roundtable, held during MPLS+NFV+SDN World Congress 2019 (MPLS Forum for short), was a resounding success.

The industry roundtable was jointly hosted by Spirent and European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC). In attendance were SRv6 industry and standard organization experts from Saudi Telecom Company, Spain Orange, Italy Fastweb, Turkey Turkcell, Switzerland Sunrise, POST Luxembourg Telecom, Portugal Telecom, Brazil VIVO, South-Africa Safaricom, Cisco, Huawei, Red Hat, IHS Markit, IETF, and Old Dog. Issues surrounding SRv6 technology standards, industry cooperation, and commercial progress were key topics that were discussed at length during the roundtable. The experts agreed that SRv6, a successor of MPLS, will be the next-generation core protocol of IP transport networks in the 5G and cloud era. Transport networks of the future will need full SRv6-ready capabilities to meet intelligent connection and transport requirements in the future 5G and cloud era.

SRv6 is a next-generation network protocol based on native IPv6 and source routing. It replaces conventional network protocols, such as MPLS LDP, RSVP-TE, and GRE, to reduce network protocol types and O&M complexity. SRv6 works with the SDN controller to implement application-specific and tenant-driven path programmability and to provide differentiated SLA guarantees. In addition, SRv6 performs automatic traffic optimization to balance network loads and to help build a non-blocking network. Because SRv6 is based on native IPv6, it has inherent advantages in cross-domain interworking, large-scale networking, service cloudification, and cloud network synergy.

During the roundtable, the attendees discussed SRv6's advantages and what benefits it brings to the transport network, as well as how to evolve live networks to SRv6 and SRv6 interoperability test progress.

Heidi Adams, executive director of IHS Markit, discussed industry trends and changes in the 5G and cloud era and pointed out that new services pose higher requirements for ultra-large capacity, mass connections, deterministic SLA guarantees, and high availability of transport networks.

Clarence Filsfils, one of SRv6's inventors, delivered a speech titled "SRv6 Network Programming" and explained SRv6's technical advantages regarding network path programmability and simple deployment. He also discussed the commercial deployment of SRv6 for SoftBank in Japan. Li Zhenbin, chief IP standard representative of Huawei and a member of the IETF Internet Architecture Board, highlighted how Huawei and industry partners, utilizing the technical advantages offered by SRv6, are accelerating the standardization process of SRv6 VPN, YANG, and OAM.

As SRv6 heads towards maturity and commercial use, the industry is leaning toward interconnection between different vendor devices. Carsten Rossenhoevel, managing director of EANTC, and Steve Jarman, senior product manager of Spirent, both introduced the SRv6 interoperability tests carried out 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, and March 2019 in Germany. The tests involved global mainstream vendors and the results fully verified their conformance in terms of SRv6 implementation, laying a foundation for large-scale SRv6 commercial use. As an important part of the industry chain, the Linux kernel has supported SRv6 since 4.10.

With the maturity of SRv6 standards, multiple operators have successfully implemented SRv6 in commercial use. One of the roundtable attendees shared a use case of Huawei's SRv6 overlay solution adopted by China Telecom Sichuan. SRv6 VPN is provisioned directly after edge PEs are upgraded. SRv6 VPN tunnels span the 163 backbone network with sufficient bandwidth, shortening the service provisioning time. In the future, transit nodes can be upgraded as needed to support various functions, such as Topology Independent Loop-free Alternate Fast Re-route (TI-LFA) and traffic engineering (TE), and to implement flexible, on-demand traffic scheduling and high reliability.

The industry experts agree that SRv6, a successor of MPLS, will be the next-generation core protocol of IP transport networks. In the future, with joint efforts of upstream and downstream industries, the SRv6 industry chain will become mature and SRv6 will be rapidly put into large-scale commercial use to help 5G and cloud network construction.

John Leung