Vodafone trialed the Facebook-designed Voyager optical platform running components from a handful of vendors.
The trial, which was deemed a success, ran on a live network in Spain. It used a Voyager device running a network operating system (OS) from Cumulus Networks, Zeetta Networks’ NetOS Software Defined Network orchestration, and architecture help from ADVA Optical Networking.
The test was implemented over an existing optical infrastructure and showed the ability to handle real-time dynamics using Voyager and an SDN controller. Specific results from the trial included SDN-based optical performance to 200 Gb/s; SDN-based optical real-time monitoring with automatic modulation adaptation from 200 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s; and the upgrade of a legacy 10 Gb/s-based system with four 200 Gb/s wavelengths for a total of 800 Gb/s of extra capacity.
“We wanted to show how Voyager’s variable-rate transceivers can be used to match speeds and modulation formats with actual line conditions,” said Santiago Tenorio, group head of networks strategy and architecture at Vodafone, in a blog post. “Thanks to a streamlined network operating system and SDN automation, we showed how our live network can set-up optical services and keep them running, reduce unnecessary and lengthy customer service interruptions, and improve network utilization.”
TIP of the Hat
Facebook first announced Voyager, which it described as a “white box transponder and routing solution,” at the 2016 Telecom Infra Project (TIP) summit. It’s based on an open source system that combines packet technology for switching and routing, along with dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) transport technology.
Facebook contributed Voyager to TIP to address operator needs for scalable, cost-effective backhaul infrastructure that supports bandwidth-intensive applications like video, virtual reality, scientific research, and machine learning. Its use cases include metro and long-haul fiber optic transport networks.
At last year’s TIP Summit, Cumulus announced it was working to make its open networking Linux operating system available on Voyager. Cumulus CEO Josh Leslie said the move to combine Cumulus Linux and Voyager extend the benefits of open networking technology — such as webscale efficiencies, automation, commodity hardware, and lower costs — to optical networks.
Cumulus explained that the Voyager project is currently in “early access” availability with a full production deployment version ready by mid-July.
A handful of other projects are also targeted at SDN control of optical network assets. These include The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Optical Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) project, OpenConfig, and the AT&T-led OpenROADM MultiSource Agreement (MSA).
Marc De Leenheer, member of the technical staff at ONF and lead on the ODTN project, previously stated that the ONF project would have some overlap with the OpenConfig and TIP efforts. However, he noted that there was little connection to the AT&T OpenROADM MSA.
“They made a fundamental design choice from the start in that they care about data plane compatibility,” De Leenheer said. “They are looking to disrupt the bookended transponder space. That has certain design and performance implications. Our operators are not wanting this sort of control as their No. 1 feature.”
Vodafone Active With Optical
Vodafone last month conducted optical networking trials using the FlexEthernet (FlexE) client interface standard from the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and a flexible spectrum bandwidth controller based on a Ciena platform. The FlexE trial resulted in test speeds up to 400 Gb/s over a single wavelength. It ran on top of Vodafone’s IP-based Red Stream converged core network in the United Kingdom.
Vodafone also tested flexible spectrum using technology from Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai platform. That platform is based on an optical chipset designed to tune wavelengths between 100 Gb/s to 400 Gb/s in 50 Gb/s increments on a single wavelength. Eva Rossi, head of transport product at Vodafone, in a blog post explained that the flexibility in the system could allow enterprise customers to sublease part of the bandwidth they purchase from Vodafone.
“The combination of these technologies will enable Vodafone in the future to automatically adapt and adjust wavelength capacity to keep services available at all times without the need for additional hardware or manual intervention,” Rossi wrote.
Photo copyright: jordi2r / 123RF Stock Photo