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ON2020 Looks to the Future at ECOC

Simon Stanley
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Simon Stanley
8/17/2017
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Following a successful workshop at OFC in March this year, ON2020 has spent the summer surveying the network needs and evolution strategies of leading network operators and is ready to share the results during a focused session at ECOC 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. This will be a unique opportunity to better understand the long-term requirements for optical networking beyond 2020.

It is vital that data center interconnect (DCI), metro networks and long-haul networks support the bandwidths, network flexibility and network manageability required for the cloud-based services that increasingly drive revenues for network operators. These cloud-based services include business networking, mobile connectivity, social media, 4/8K video, online storage, big data processing and IoT.

Optical networks using CDC ROADMs enable greater network flexibility, and SDN-based multilayer control and management promises significantly easier network manageability. Both SDN and ROADMs have seen significant investments in open and proprietary developments. The challenge for the industry is delivering multivendor solutions that take advantage of the latest developments and grow to meet the bandwidth and network management needs of telecom and web-scale network operators through 2020 and beyond.

ON2020 is a global, industrywide effort to understand and define solution strategies for optical networking beyond 2020. ON2020 provides a forum for technical and business leaders from telecom and datacom companies to openly discuss opportunities and the technical challenges facing the optical networking industry. (See ON2020: Driving Innovative Optical Network Solutions.)

The aim is to define new optical network requirements and specifications, develop network technology roadmaps and evolution scenarios, and foster an open and sustainable ecosystem for end users, service providers and equipment and component vendors to collectively address the optical networking demands in the cloud era. Freed from near-term thinking, competition and standardization constraints, ON2020 aims to provide long-term industry visions beyond current product developments that will help to set the longer-term goals and directions that the fiber-optic communications industry should be working toward.

As part of this process, ON2020 has been surveying the network needs and evolution strategies of leading network operators. The survey has received inputs from individuals at major telecom and web-scale network operators in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America and covers four key areas: capacity and granularity, connectivity and flexibility, management and operations and open networking disaggregation. The results of the survey will give indications on what aggregate capacities might be needed, bandwidths for individual links, the importance of superchannel transceivers and need for "white box" solutions.

The survey will also give feedback on the further development of ROADM networking, the role of SDN across the industry, the importance of bandwidth-on-demand, multivendor interoperable transport SDN (T-SDN) and optical network disaggregation. ON2020 will continue to receive inputs from network operators and individuals professionally dealing with commercial network deployments until early September.

The results of the ON2020 survey will be shared at a read-out session led by members of the ON2020 steering committee, during the ECOC 2017 conference in Gothenburg, immediately after the opening Plenary session. The ON2020 steering committee includes Simon Poole (Finisar), Xiang Liu (Huawei), Dogan Atlas (Infinera), Brandon Collings (Lumentum) and Peter Winzer (Nokia Bell Labs). There will be opportunity during this session to discuss key aspects of feedback received from network operators.

Please join ON2020 for what should prove to be a highly informative session on Monday, September 18, at the Svenska Massan in Gothenburg -- the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre -- in Room R31, from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. The session is open to all ECOC attendees; however, space is limited, so please reserve your place by emailing survey@on2020.org along with your own response to the ON2020 survey. More information on the session and a link to the survey is available at Information-Sharing Meeting at ECOC 2017.

— Simon Stanley, Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading

This article is sponsored by ON2020.

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