How Will Optical Networking Become Flexible and Software-Defined?

How Will Optical Networking Become Flexible and Software-Defined?

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The combined effect of the onset of 5G, automation, and the need for optical networking to become more software-defined and more flexible becomes apparent.

FREMONT, CA: Known for the advantages of high capacity, low energy consumption, and long transmission distance, the optical network is now widely being deployed as an important infrastructure for the backbone transport network. It has become a promising option for intra and inter‐datacenter networking. Their blazing speeds and enormous capacities allows optical networks application in superdense situations, such as carrier, large enterprise data centers, large-scale cloud service providers, and for long-distance data center interconnect (DCI).

An optical DCI comprises ultra-dense optical networking equipment that will limit the speed in which changes to the network can be fully implemented. It will also increase the chance of being the source of network problems as it demands manual intervention, the primary reason for misconfiguration errors. To overcome this, vendors are presenting optical networks to the new programmable world. They generally accomplish this by extending software-defined networking (SDN) concepts of disaggregation to optical equipment. In the field of networking, software‐defined networking (SDN) has gained a lot of attention from all the industry, as it provides a flexible and programmable control plane. On the other hand, optical networks have to become more software-defined and programmable.Top Optical Networking Solution Companies

SDN applies to the optical network, and the optical network, when integrated with SDN, forms a software‐defined optical network (SDON), which is the future transport solution. It can provide high bitrate connectivity and flexible network applications. Besides, it can provide high bandwidth with IT resources for multiple tenants. It separates the control plane from the data plane to optical gear while turning the controlled manner into a centralized and flexible one. It also includes extending OpenFlow -- for interplane communication -- to accommodate optical equipment and concepts.

Besides, it enables data center operators to control and program network functions such as bandwidth provisioning with Quality of service (QoS) guarantees. Resources of the datacenter are provisioned by virtualizing resources of distributed datacenters and operator’s optical networks in a coordinating fashion. A hierarchical control mechanism is proposed to control a multi‐domain optical network, which can support connections between datacenters in the multi‐domain scenario.

Weekly Brief