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Huawei Unveils 5th-Gen Optical Network Architecture

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6/25/2014
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NICE, France -- Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today unveiled fifth-generation optical network architecture ― SDN-based Flex Optical Network (SDN is short for software-defined networking) ― at Next Generation Optical Networking Forum, the most important optical conference in Europe. This new architecture paves a new direction in the evolution of optical transport technology.

Optical infrastructure is fundamental to telecommunications. Within less than half a century, the optical transport industry has migrated from PDH, through SDH, WDM, to OTN-based coherent 100G WDM, boosting network speeds from megabit-level to terabit-level performance and progressing from pure manual network configuration and management to modest levels of automation.

The emergence of new services, such as cloud computing, streaming media, and mobile broadband, calls for higher-capacity and smarter optical networks. As nextgeneration optical network architecture, Huawei's SDN-based Flex Optical Network features resilient ultra-large pipes, efficient multi-layer synergy, and SDN-enabled openness.

Resilient ultra-large pipes, which support flex-optical layer, flex-electrical layer, and flex-capacity technologies, are expected to carry high, fluctuating volume of traffic. The Flex-optical layer, also named Flex-Grid, can effectively improve spectral efficiency, while the Flex-electrical layer adopts Nx100G based Flex-OTN architecture, allowing for flexible service switching and multiplexing within large-capacity pipes. Using powerful signal modulation technologies, flex-capacity can achieve on-demand transmission capacity or distance. Efficient multi-layer synergy includes cross-layer IP and optical synergy, cross-domain management of NE groups, and per-NE based wavelength-OTN-Ethernet synergy (synergy across Layer 0, Layer 1, and Layer 2). The multi-layer synergy empowers a smart policy engine to improve the overall pipe efficiency. Because the per-bit delivery cost varies with each pipe layer, the synergy can offer the most cost-effective traffic control.

The aforementioned resiliency and efficiency are made possible through SDN. In addition, SDN builds an open network for bandwidth monetization and effectively reduces the cost per bit through efficient network O&M.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

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