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NEC's Programmable Flow Utilized by Kanazawa University Hospital's New Network- Creation of flexible, secure network infrastructure using OpenFlow and SDN -

*** For immediate use June 11, 2012

Tokyo, June 11, 2012 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) announced today a new network system at Kanazawa University Hospital that features NEC's OpenFlow (*1) and Software Defined Network (SDN, *2) control technologies.

The system is installed at the hospital's Clinical Research Building, featuring two NEC UNIVERGE PF6800 programmable flow controller units that support OpenFlow, as well as sixteen UNIVERGE PF5240 programmable flow switches. Moreover, NEC completed system construct in just one month.

The Kanazawa University Hospital is an essential asset for medical services that plays an important role as a medical research and educational institution in the Hokuriku area of northwestern Japan. Until now, hospital network construction and expansion were carried out separately by each clinical department, making it difficult for network administrators to grasp the overall structure of the network. Furthermore, the addition of medical equipment also complicated network configuration and connectivity verification, which increased the burden and costs of network administration.

This new system addresses these issues by providing overall network visualization on a Graphical User Interface (GUI), which enables administrators to update network configuration easily and conveniently, in addition to facilitating efficient management of operations and protecting against human error. Furthermore, virtualized networks can be easily built for each department and new medical equipment can be flexibly added to the network.

Key features of the new system at Kanazawa University Hospital are as follows:

  1. Network visualization realizing integrated network management
    Both the network's physical and logical configurations are visualized through GUI, by which administrators can grasp the overall network structure quickly, then integrate network management and reduce operational cost.

  2. Network virtualization for each department
    A Virtual Tenant Network (VTN) has been established for each clinical department, research laboratory and other offices. System expansion and changes can be conveniently carried out on GUI, by which labor intensive physical network configuration changes are eliminated.

  3. Centralized controller enabling resource pooling
    Conventionally, a series of firewalls were required in order to ensure the security of networks built separately for each department. Programmable Flow, however, enables network equipment, such as firewalls, to be shared. As a result, networks can be configured more easily and the amount of equipment and costs can be reduced.

NEC aims to further capitalize on these systems in order to actively expand programmable flow and promote business innovation throughout a wide range of fields.

NEC's UNIVERGE PF6800 programmable flow controller won the "Best of Interop" Grand Prize at Interop Las Vegas 2012 (*3). The controller will be exhibited at Interop Tokyo 2012 in June.



*1) OpenFlow:
OpenFlow is a next generation networking technology that centralizes network control by separating network control functions from switches and concentrating on controllers. NEC is one of the founding members of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization to standardize OpenFlow protocol.

*2) Software Defined Network (SDN)
SDN is a concept where networks are configured and programmed using software. OpenFlow is a standard protocol to realize SDN.

*3) NEC Named Best of Interop 2012 Winner

About NEC Corporation
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NEC Press Contacts (Japan)

Seiichiro Toda
NEC Corporation

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation