The two groups are creating an application programming interface (API) for transport networks, and they aim to test it in carrier labs worldwide.
They say that currently, the optical transport layer operates with no awareness of the packet layer above it, so manual intervention is often needed to address issues. By incorporating a transport API, the problems could be corrected automatically through software.
Several factors drive their work, including the trends toward network virtualization and network slicing. In addition, optical network engineers need to cope with peak traffic events and problems with link failures.
This fall, the OIF plans to conduct an interoperability demonstration of its API. Host carriers for the demonstration include China Telecom, China Unicom, SK Telecom, Telefónica, and Verizon. Participating vendors include ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, Coriant, Huawei, Juniper Networks, NEC, Sedona Systems, SM Optics, and ZTE.
Optical Firms Tap Into SDN
In the past couple of years, there has been a trend to employ SDN to connect the packet and optical layers.
Sedona Systems has said its technology, which integrates the IP layer with the optical layer of networks, is already covering 95 percent of all fixed-line and mobile networks worldwide. That lays the groundwork for carriers to deploy SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV).
And during an earnings call last week, Ciena CEO Gary Smith said the company’s Blue Planet SDN technology was receiving high levels of interest in pilots with MSOs, Tier 1 service providers, and data center operators.