Spain-based telecommunications provider Telefónica and vendor Huawei touted a successful laboratory test of a transport software-defined networking (T-SDN) service. The test showed the ability for the controller to help in planning, management, monitoring, and diagnostic capabilities across Telefónica’s optical transport network.
T-SDN acts like a centralized controller in gleaning real-time information from the network to detect any transmission issues. This allows the operations and maintenance departments to locate potential trouble spots before they can impact traffic.
The T-SDN algorithm is also able to optimize network usage and improve the performance of a wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network.
SDN control over optical networks can allow operators to manage port speeds, protocols, and wavelengths; support more advanced modulation and detection schemes; and provide for flexible wavelength routing via dynamic reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) technology.
ROADM is designed to control modulated infrared and visible light beams of various wavelengths in a fiber optic network. The technology is typically used in long-haul systems that employ WDM.
Maria Crespo, director of IP connectivity and transport at Telefónica Spain, said the carrier was interested in using T-SDN to bolster performance of the WDM control plane to reduce restoration times. The carrier is also looking to use the platform to improve network diagnostics, and increase the use of automation for network management and control.
Telefónica’s optical transport network in Spain includes more than 200 nodes. It uses ROADM and a virtualized network control plane, and is based on 200-gigabit optical channels.
The network is the basis for the carrier’s nationwide IP-MPLS network. Juniper Networks and Nokia were tasked with supplying the IP router equipment with Nokia and Huawei providing the optical networking equipment.
Telefónica has some history in testing T-SDN technology. The carrier last year was part of a trial with NEC/Netcracker, Infinera, and Juniper Networks in testing T-SDN. The platform was part of the Optical Interworking Forum (OIF)/Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Transport API project.
Vendor Support Growing
Richard Jin, president of transmission at Huawei, said the company’s T-SDN product has been used by 10 operators. Use cases include finance, government entities, leased company lines, and data center interconnect (DCI).
Huawei is also working on its Network Cloud Engine that can be used to integrate an online WDM planning tool with the control plane and network management system.
Huawei was cited along with Nokia as a leader in current optical networking equipment deployments as part of an IHS Markit survey of 28 operators. Both vendors were being used by 39 percent of operators surveyed as part of their current optical networking deployments.
Nokia earlier this week scored a deal with Norway-based operator Telenor to replace its legacy optical network with an SDN-ready product. The deal includes replacing connections between 200 nodes across Telenor’s operations in Norway and Sweden.