ADVA Optical Networking participated in a pair of trials that demonstrated how software can be used to make optical networking more efficient. The trials used separate versions of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and the ONOS software-defined networking (SDN) controller to control network components.
The ONAP trial was conducted by MEF, which used ONAP to orchestrate hosted service chains on ADVA’s Ensemble Connection virtualization platform. The trial was orchestrated by BringCom, which provides telecom services in the Middle East and Africa.
The test used a virtualized MEF 3.0-compliant point-to-point connection provisioned with ONAP and running on ADVA’s Ensemble Connector in a universal CPE platform. Ensemble Connector is ADVA’s network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) software platform.
The connected enterprise endpoints hosted an Ubuntu firewall virtual network function (VNF). The ADVA platform ran an embedded version of OpenStack.
The ONAP orchestration showed how ADVA’s NFVI platform can work with a separate orchestrator. It also highlighted improved software control of connectivity and management of cloud resources closer to edge deployments.
Despite the trial, Prayson Pate, CTO for ADVA’s Ensemble division, said the company was not directly participating in ONAP.
“We are evaluating the solution for interoperability and customer deployment scenarios.” Pate said, adding that ADVA had customers that were committed to ONAP, and that the company would “need to ensure our products evolve with their deployment plans.”
ADVA gained the Ensemble platform from its acquisition of Overture Networks in early 2016. ADVA last year scored a significant win with Verizon to install its NFVI technology within the operator’s white box uCPE plans.
Verizon earlier this year joined ONAP, which was a major score for the Linux Foundation-hosted organization. ONAP emerged out of work conducted by the likes of China Mobile and AT&T, and has since attracted other large operators like China Telecom, Orange, and Bell Canada.
Smart Control Platform
The other trial targeted software-defined orchestration use cases. The goal of the project was to develop a service-aware and automated IP/optical control platform that could support intent-based service provisioning, multi-layer restoration, and optimization between optical layers.
The brains behind the controller were based on ONOS with a standard interface used to connect into an ADVA optical controller. A successful test was conducted in Telefónica’s labs using ADVA optical gear and Juniper routers, using controllers from both vendors.
The project was a multi-year effort run under a European Union consortium dubbed Application-Centric IP/Optical Network Orchestration (ACINO). The group was formed in early 2015. Other members included Sedona Systems, CREATE-NET, Acero, and AIT.
“Automation and optimization of network functions, while being aware of service needs, is key in the service provider network architecture,” explained Victor Lopez, technology expert at Telefónica, on the project’s efforts. “Such capabilities are needed for service providers to stay competitive.”
Achim Autenrieth, director for advanced technology at ADVA, said potential use cases for intent-based SDN control include multi-layer encryption, data center interconnect, and multi-layer online planning using ONOS. He said the project’s efforts solidified the potential to support these use cases.
“ACINO played an important role in the definition, extension, and validation of open source standardized SDN protocols and data models,” Autenrieth said of the 36-month project. “It’s these multi-shareholder trials that verify the usability of specifications and confirm applicability in real-world networks.”
Autenrieth added that the results will influence ADVA’s SDN product strategy and be incorporated into the next iteration of its software products, network management, and control platforms.