Géant’s network connects more than 10,000 research institutions such as the CERN physics lab in Switzerland. These organizations have very high-bandwidth computing loads.
Moving toward SDN, Géant is using a combination of Infinera’s packet-optical technology, Corsa Technology’s programmable switching and routing platform, and the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) SDN controller.
Géant has already tested and validated Infinera’s Open Transport Switch (OTS) software and its Packet Switching Module (PXM).
OTS was introduced in 2015 and initially deployed for SDN-driven optical bandwidth on demand. OTS has since been extended to support programmability of Layer 2 packet services for service provisioning over an integrated packet-optical network.
“The open transport switch is something Infinera introduced to provide programmability of our optical transport network,” says Jay Gill, Infinera’s principal product marketing manager. “Don’t let ‘switch’ throw you off. It’s really software.”
The PXM enables Ethernet and MPLS switching intelligence on Infinera’s DTN-X platform, which is already widely deployed in the Géant network.
“The packet switch module provides an interface that is packet aware,” says Gill.
Traffic coming into the Géant network needs to be passed through the network to endpoints. The PXM saves the need to add new router interfaces to every destination, and it provides SDN control to set up the right bandwidth capacity to the right location.
Corsa & ONOS
The Corsa DP2000 allows dynamic partitioning of hardware into independent, virtual SDN switches or routers always operating at line rate. Network operators can fine-tune traffic paths to ensure individual customers, subscribers, or services receive their appropriate bandwidth and throughput.
Via SDN, the Géant network can handle traffic at different layers, including an SDN Layer 3 domain that also routes traffic to the general Internet. This is accomplished with an ONOS application known as SDN-IP, which provides a mechanism to share routing information between legacy and SDN domains.
Géant is pursuing SDN on multiple fronts, “taking advantage of expertise and research that ranges from the optical layer all the way to network management and orchestration,” said Afrodite Sevasti, head of SDN development within Géant, in a statement.