Can Technology Make Optical Networking More Flexible and...
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Can Technology Make Optical Networking More Flexible and Software-defined?

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Friday, May 01, 2020

FREMONT, CA: The optical network is now widely deployed as an important infrastructure for the backbone transport network, recognized for the advantages of high capacity, low energy consumption and long transmission distance. It has become a promising choice for networking within and between data centers. Its blazing speeds and enormous capabilities allow the deployment of optical networks in superdense situations such as carrier, large enterprise data centers, large cloud service providers, and long-distance data center interconnection (DCI).

The optical DCI requires ultra-dense optical networking equipment that will restrict the speed at which full implementation of improvements to the network can be made. It will also increase the likelihood of being the cause of network issues as it needs manual intervention, the primary reason for errors in configuration. To solve this, manufacturers are addressing the modern programmable environment with optical networks. We typically do this by applying disaggregation principles for software-defined networking (SDN) to optical equipment. In the area of networking, software-defined networking (SDN) has gained considerable attention from the entire industry as it provides a flexible and programmable control plane. On the other hand, optical networks must become more programmable and software-defined.

Top 10 Optical Networking Companies - 2020SDN refers to the optical network, and the optical network, when combined with SDN, creates a software-defined optical network (SDON), a potential transport solution. It can provide connectivity with high bitrate and flexible network applications. It can also provide IT services for multiple tenants with high bandwidth. This divides the control plane into the optical gear from the data plane, thus transforming the controlled manner into a centralized and versatile one. It also includes the extension of OpenFlow to accommodate optical equipment and concepts—for interplane communication.

It also helps data center operators to track and configure network functions such as quality of service (QoS) guarantees for bandwidth provisioning. Datacenter services are generated in a coordinated fashion by virtualizing infrastructure from centralized datacenters and optical networks of operators. A hierarchical model for managing a multi-domain optical network is proposed that supports connections between datacenters in the multi‐domain scenario.

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