TOKYO
—October 9, 2012—Stratosphere, Inc., a joint venture established by ACCESS CO., LTD. and Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ), to perform R&D on infrastructure software based on SDN (*1), today announced that the first commercial version of their network virtualization platform—Stratosphere SDN Platform 1.0 (SSP 1.0)—will be launched on October 31, 2012. SSP 1.0 is primarily intended for data center operators, cloud operators, and service providers and will be sold  through  ACCESS and IIJ sales channels. Several clients have already tested the evaluation version and a major datacenter company has decided to adopt the commercial version. 

SSP 1.0 is a software program that virtually builds and controls a network by connecting virtual machines distributed over a wide area. SSP 1.0 uses the edge overlay method (tunneling method) (*2), using the existing network environment to build a virtual network that can be operated and controlled independently of the physical network. By introducing SSP 1.0, clients free themselves from the restrictions of the physical network and are able to easily and quickly increase the number of virtual machines and move them between distributed data centers using an optional network policy, without regard for their physical location or network topology, thus effectively building more flexible cloud environments. The automation of network operations also greatly reduces the burden and cost associated with network operations.

SSP 1.0 service highlights
  1. Open platform
    SSP 1.0 can be integrated with a hypervisor (Linux/KVM, Vmware/ESXi), an orchestrator (CloudStack), and all manner of network protocols.
  2. Hybrid solution using both existing and new technology
    The majority of functions necessary to virtualizing a network have been modularized, allowing an SDN environment to be implemented with a variety of functions to choose from, depending on the client’s needs. It also allows a smooth migration from existing L2 networks operating on a VLAN.
  3. API provides SDN functions
    The administration and control functions of the SDN environment are integrated into an API tailored to the needs of the end user, service provider, or infrastructure provider.

In the future, we will expand the SDN engine that provides the SSP 1.0 control functions to provide even more functions, such as compatibility with the hop-by-hop method in addition to the edge overlay method, interconnectivity using backbone protocols such as, multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and provider backbone bridge (PPB), and SDN-BGP (*3) for building a WAN service using SDN, as well as other next-generation core network technologies.

Background
Development of SSP 1.0 started when it was discovered that, as server and storage virtualization advanced in a cloud environment, flexible systems could not be easily built in that environment because the network—set up to combine virtualized computing resources (CPU, memory, storage, etc)—could not sufficiently cope with virtualization. Particularly in a multi-tenant (*4) cloud environment or when multiple virtual machines and data centers were distributed widely, the administration of the network’s complex structure and physical restrictions became a bottleneck. 

Stratosphere was established with the goal of creating the next-generation cloud environment through the research and development of a platform based on SDN and OpenFlow (*5), an elemental technology of SDN, and thus resolve these issues. (*6) 

SSP 1.0 features
FeatureDescription
SDN Engine- Creates and integrates management of a virtual network environment  
- Configuration management of a tenant network
- Provides API for control of virtual network environmen
Virtual switch- Supports OpenFlow 1.0
- Connects virtual machines and tunneling modules
L2/L3 overlay- VXLAN can identify about 16 million L2 domains 
- STT provides accelerated tunneling at the NIC
Reduction of broadcasts - ARP requests are controlled by the SDN engine
 
 
SSP 1.0 Operating Environment
EnvironmentSSP 1.0Future compatibility  
Hardwarex86 server  -
OSCentOS-
Orchestrator  CloudStackOpenStack etc.
Hypervisor KVM, ESX  Xen server etc.

 
Notes:
*1. Software defined network (SDN): A next-generation network concept in which the entire network is controlled (defined) by software in order to dynamically configure the network. 
*2. Edge Overlay Method: Controls virtual switches at the network edges using tunneling technology, while the paths connecting the virtual switches use the conventional network. Because it uses the existing physical network, equipment costs can be minimized.
*3. SDN-BGP: A method for establishing interconnectivity between a network managed using OpenFlow and an existing ISP network using the border gateway protocol (BGP).
*4. Multi-tenant: A business model that provides a secure, dedicated virtualized computing environment in which servers, databases, and other resources are shared by multiple user companies in a cloud environment.
*5. OpenFlow: Next-generation network control technology that enables the virtualization of the network. The OpenFlow Switch Consortium promotes the technology and the Open Networking Foundation promotes standards for OpenFlow.
*6. For the announcement, see press release of April 5, 2012, http://www.iij.ad.jp/news/pressrelease/2012/0405.html.

Endorsement from Citrix Systems Inc. 
Citrix Systems Inc. welcomes the announcement of product release of Stratosphere SDN Platform(SSP),  an open platform dramatically increasing extendability, elasticity, and reliability of functionalities which Cloud orchestration systems like Citrix CloudPlatform or Apache Cloudstack can provide. With SSP, even enterprise information systems with huge and complicated network topologies can be multiplexed on to single cloud infrastructure and can keep stable and sustainable operation with necessary network resource allocation. SSP enables Cloud service operators, EC site operators, and enterprise IT managers operating huge information systems to quickly and easily implement latest technologies of the network virtualization technologies. We expect this also leads to accelerate the deployment of IaaS environment in Japan.

Citrix Systems, Inc.
Cloud Platform Group CTO Sheng Liang

 
About ACCESS
ACCESS CO., LTD. is a global provider of advanced software solutions and services that enable operators, device manufacturers, content owners and consumers to make the most of today’s multi-screen, connected world. It provides software for mobiles, smartphones and tablets, connected TVs and set-top boxes in the connected home, automotive, digital publishing and networking markets. ACCESS solutions have shipped in over one billion devices around the world. Its product portfolio includes the NetFront™ Software Series and the ZebOS® network platform, providing customers faster time-to-market, flexibility and customizability; the ACCESSTM Digital Publishing Ecosystem for cloud-based, cross-platform digital publishing and the NetAd mobile advertising platform. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Mothers’Index, 4813) and operates subsidiaries and affiliates in Asia, Europe and the United States. Learn more about ACCESS at www.access-company.com.

About IIJ
Founded in 1992, Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ, NASDAQ: IIJI, Tokyo Stock Exchange TSE1: 3774) is one of Japan’s leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. IIJ and its group of companies provide total network solutions that mainly cater to high-end corporate customers. The company’s services include high-quality systems integration and cloud computing/data center services, security services, Internet access, and content distribution. Moreover, the company has built one of the largest Internet backbone networks in Japan, and between Japan and the United States. IIJ was listed on NASDAQ in 1999 and on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2006. For more information about IIJ, visit the IIJ Web site at http://www.iij.ad.jp/en/.

 The statements within this release contain forward-looking statements about our future plans that involve risk and uncertainty. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents furnished by Internet Initiative Japan Inc. with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports on Forms 20-F and 6-K, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

About Stratosphere
Stratosphere Inc., was established in April 2012 with the goal of researching and developing software stacks that could build a platform to create the next-generation cloud environment using software defined network (SDN) technology. The company was named after the stratosphere, a part of the Earth’s atmosphere that is above the clouds, representing our goal of going beyond the cloud. The stratosphere is also very stable and covers the more turbulent troposphere, which reflects our mission to provide technology to engulf the entire cloud computing environment and stabilize and develop it. Find Stratosphere on the Web at http://www.stratosphere.co.jp/.

* “ACCESS,” the ACCESS logo, and “NetFront” are the registered trademarks and service marks of ACCESS Inc., in Japan, the U.S., and other countries.
* ZebOS is the registered trademark and services mark of IP Infusion Inc., in the U.S. and other countries.