Light Reading
Operators have shared their perspectives on IP and optical convergence, with network management and planning coming in for close scrutiny.

Accelerating Packet-Optical Convergence

Sterling Perrin
5/22/2014
50%
50%

In March, a group of leading network operators, led by Telefónica, published a white paper entitled "IP and Optical Convergence: Use Cases and Technical Requirements." The objective of this paper, as the authors write, was to outline the benefits, enablers, and challenges for IP and optical convergence, and the rationale for encouraging international collaboration to accelerate progress and development in this area.

In addition to Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), other contributing companies were: AXTEL Mexico; Bouygues Telecom; BT Group; China Unicom; Colt Telecom; Deutsche Telekom; KDDI; KT Corp. (Korea Telecom); Orange; and Telecom Italia.

The operator group assessed the value of a number of different IP and optical use cases. This blog focuses on multi-layer management, multi-layer planning, and multi-layer resilience, which garnered the most interest among the operator group -- and by a large margin.

The white paper looks at multi-layer resilience and focuses on an IP and optical layer resilience scheme that uses fast reroute (FRR) at the IP layer and GMPLS at the optical layer. The multi-layer network reduces operator capex by eliminating some of the requirements for 1+1 protection in the network. With traditional 1+1 protection, 50% of network capacity is reserved for backup in case a failure occurs, but a multi-layer control plane can be built to use 1:1 protection only when necessary.

While this paper does not provide multi-layer resilience savings statistics, DT research work published in 2012 demonstrated capex savings of 24-27% using a combination of IP layer and photonic layer restoration when compared to traditional network architectures implying IP layer restoration with full 1+1 protection. We have also seen equipment vendors cite even higher capex savings potential for this application.

Looking at multi-layer planning and management, a full integration of IP and optical layers can lead to better network manageability, but the complexity of full interaction (today, at least) requires a single vendor proprietary implementation. On the plus side, a proprietary integrated approach can speed up and simplify provisioning, fault management, and network planning. On the negative side, buying IP and optical layer equipment from a single vendor creates "dependencies that constrain network evolutions," according to the white paper. "Additionally, it brings a significant risk of increasing part of the OPEX, through the different upgrades and associated release qualifications since IP routers implies a high number of release updates," when compared with pure transport equipment releases.

The operators conclude that, in the case of proprietary, fully-integrated IP and optical management systems, the negatives outweigh the potential positives. The authors recommend that the industry begins working on open standards to achieve converged network management systems. This conclusion is very consistent with Heavy Reading 's findings from surveys and operator interviews during the past 18 months.

However, we continue to get pushback on this issue from various equipment vendors. A consistent counter argument we are hearing from suppliers is that, in the absence of full standards, operators will need to make proprietary decisions or lose out on the benefits of multi-layer integration completely. Granted, vendors have a strong incentive to preserve the status quo, but there is also a legitimate point being made here. With no clear cut path to standardization, how long will operators wait for multi-vendor interoperability to emerge?

— Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/23/2014 | 11:55:13 AM
Re: Restoration
I think 25-30% cost savings are completely realistic in a scenario where you are just account for long-haul fiber span failures.  
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
5/23/2014 | 9:13:35 AM
Re: Restoration
dwx,

Good points. As this project was entirely operator driven, it doesn't seem like there is a big incentive to make the applications appear more beneficial than they really are. The DT work I cite in my blog puts the capex savings at 24-27%, which is relatively modest compared to the 50-60% capex savings that I've seen cited in several vendor studies looking at the same application.

I'm not sure, but it's possible that the DT work takes into consideration the Internet traffic factors you've mentioned in your post. 

Sterling

 
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
5/23/2014 | 9:04:42 AM
Full White Paper Link
For anyone interested in downloading the full operator white paper (25 pages), it can be found here:

http://www.tid.es/sites/526e527928a32d6a7400007f/assets/532c7ce328a32d4d710006bd/White_paper_IP_Optical_Convergence__1_.pdf

 

Sterling
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/22/2014 | 3:23:27 PM
Restoration
You have to really investigate the cost savings associated with photonic restoration.  The reality is no one uses 1+1 optical protection and builds L3 backup capacity for "Internet" IP traffic, which makes up the bulk of traffic today.   So right there you can toss out a large percentage of the cost savings because people like to tout both being implemented in networks.  The real cost savings is in not carrying as much backup L3 capacity for Internet traffic.  If you've seen slides from vendors and operators, the paradigm of "protecting" Internet traffic is going out the window and sustaining a 2-5s outage while a link goes down and comes back up is now acceptable.

By default none of this helps you in terms of equipment failure since it assumes the majority of failures are fiber cuts, which is accurate. If a L3 port goes down, you lose the capacity.  

The landscape right now is having an orchestration system/controller which can view and manage both packet and optical domains, and forcing vendors to implement open standards for programmability.  GMPLS has been going on for 15 years now, nothing has ever come from it in terms of marrying packet and optical.  

Vendors also aren't really putting packet interfaces in transport gear or OTN/DWDM interfaces in routers either.  The density and flexibility is pretty terrible for 100G in both directions.   IMHO the real opportunity is improving the interconnect between boxes with things like MacFlex so you aren't wasting either packet or optical resources.  So if I need 40G between two sites and 320G between two sites, I'm not wasting 100G and 400G to do so.  I'm using a flexible Ethernet MAC layer and then a flexible OTN container.   

  
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
As more and more applications move into the cloud, enterprises must ensure that those clouds are rigorously tested for performance.
As LTE-Advanced networks begin to reach commercial deployment, technology suppliers are scrambling to establish market leadership positions.
Cable has been working on WiFi gateways to combine IP video and advanced Wi-Fi for the home.
When it comes to virtual network functions (VNFs), Dell is convinced that the heavy lifting will need to be done in the 'cloud'.
The latest highly integrated silicon components are enabling a massive acceleration of LTE worldwide.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed