& cplSiteName &

Gearing Up for POTE 2012

Sterling Perrin
5/11/2012
50%
50%

Light Reading’s Packet-Optical Transport Evolution Conference is set to convene once again in New York City. This year’s event takes place on May 17 at the Marriott Marquis. As we gear up for the event, here’s a look at some of the key themes we expect to hear about this year.

The Optical Control Plane Is Finally Hot
For many years, the optical control plane has been a relatively dry topic at optical events. Topics such as 100G, switched OTN, and colorless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) ROADMs have had the spotlight, while control plane technology progressed rather quietly. This year, the optical control plane takes center stage, and we expect much discussion and debate in New York. Here are some of the factors driving the surge in interest:

  • OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking (SDN): These two terms are all over the trade press right now, including in Light Reading. OpenFlow is a protocol, and SDN is the broader term for the physical separation of the control and data plane in networks. OpenFlow is seen as a great fit for data centers, and its applicability for more complex telco environments is being hotly debated. Regardless of where operators stand on OpenFlow specifically, its existence has sparked a new round of investigation of how SDN can be applied to telco networks. Currently, there is a lot of interest in Path Computation Element (PCE) as a telco-oriented form of SDN. Born of the IETF, PCE moves some control to the cloud (the path computation function) but leaves much of the intelligence on the elements. While PCE has momentum, we are also hearing about OpenFlow, so none of this has been decided.

  • Switched OTN and CDC ROADMs Enable Control Planes: These two trends in network hardware have opened up new possibilities for the optical control plane. For the past decade, optical control planes have been associated with switched Sonet/SDH networks, primarily in the core. Now, as switched OTN is moving to replace switched Sonet/SDH, the optical control plane is being ported over to this new Layer 1 transport elements. In addition, switched photonic networks -- enabled by these new CDC ROADMs -- have opened up the possibility of an optical control plane for the photonic layer. This is being standardized by the ITU-T as WSON. And finally, as operators have this control plane functionality up and down the OSI stack, interest has arisen to define and build multi-layer control planes through which all of these control plane layers can interact. Again, this is all new and much is to be done.


Beyond 100G Gets Real
For the past five years at our optical events, we have been discussing the coming of 100G transport. Now, 100G is here and shipping in volume. At POTE 2012, we turn our attention to what lies beyond 100G -- with an entire panel dedicated to the terabit transport topic. We believe the timing is right for this industry discussion, as there is much that must be decided and history shows that it takes about five years for a new rate to move from lab experiments to commercial deployments. One of the first issues to be resolved is: What will the next-gen bit rate be? On the table are 400G and 1T, as well as a very real possibility that the next line-side rate will be a variable rate composed of building blocks that can be added and subtracted. The key enabler here is the superchannel -- a composite signal built from multiple sub carriers. This superchannel is widely viewed as the only viable way for suppliers to get to terabit channel rates in the next ten years.

Beyond P-OTS and CESR
We revisit the topic of packet-optical integration to learn the state-of-the-art and to understand the likely future trajectory. Not too long ago, many were skeptical that operators would ever deploy hybrid products that combine packet switching and TDM; now these systems are widely deployed by operators around the world. Moving forward, greater emphasis (and development) rests on the packet side of these hybrid products. Some topics to discuss include: the current state of the MPLS-TP standard, the role of switched OTN in the metro, and how next-gen ROADMs may change architectures. Another very interesting topic is how high up the OSI stack suppliers should go in integrating packet technology into transport systems. Layer 2.5 has been the ceiling, but we are starting to see a move to add IP.

These are just a few the topics we’ll discuss at POTE 2012. We hope to see you in New York!

— Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
The Gfast rollout, which has been stalled while network operators conduct trials and chipset vendors develop new Amendment 3 chipsets, is set to start in 2018 with a ramp-up in 2019.
NFV is shifting from a technology focus to operations, as CSPs say too much effort has been spent on VNF onboarding and too little on the reality of operations.
The converged fiber access market is set to grow again, especially as copper lines continue to deteriorate.
The most recent Thought Leadership Council (TLC) survey finds that opportunities abound for 5G vendors as only 15% of TLC service providers have chosen their vendors for the 5G market.
The ability of artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out complex analysis on high volumes of data very quickly could help automate many telco security activities. But is it smart to cut humans out of the loop?
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
September 25-27, 2018, Denver, Colorado
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Moves Are as Futile as Trump's Comb-Over
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/18/2018
Samsung Plots New 5G Modem – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/18/2018
Ericsson Lurches to $1.8B Write-Down
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/16/2018
Analyst: Verizon's Fixed 5G Is a Loss Leader for Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/16/2018
Europe Urges US to Block Trump on Net Neutrality
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/22/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed