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Transport SDN

ON2020: Driving Innovative Optical Network Solutions

As the optical networking community gathers at OFC’17 in Los Angeles, we are seeing an unprecedented number of new technologies and solutions being developed and there is a compelling need for companies to work together to ensure that the combination of these innovative optical network solutions meets network operator demands. Optical Network 2020 has recently been established as a global association that aims to meet this need by fostering an open and sustainable ecosystem for end users, service providers and equipment and component vendors in the cloud era through 2020 and beyond.

The optical networking industry is rapidly developing with traffic flows, network bandwidth, flexibility and management all changing significantly. Cloud-based services and network virtualization are moving data storage, application servers and many network functions into large and hyper-scale data centers. Cloud services accessed by businesses and individuals from mobile devices and fixed-line connections are driving a huge growth in global IP traffic. These services, including 4/8K video, online storage, social media, big data processing and IoT, are being provided by a mix of communications service providers, cloud service providers and over-the-top content providers. The optical transport network provides the underlying infrastructure for all these services.

Virtualization in transport networks using SDN technology (T-SDN) with flexible optical interfaces and systems offers a route to delivering bandwidth on demand and integrated IP and optical networking solutions. The latest optical, switching and DSP technologies are delivering better performance, distance and spectral efficiency in addition to greater flexibility with CDC ROADMs and single interfaces supporting multiple modulation technologies and link characteristics. Superchannels, hybrid-Raman and other solutions will enable significantly greater bandwidths.

Many of these developments are being driven through open initiatives that are accelerating the deployment of disaggregated solutions. At the same time many network operators are looking for solutions that take advantage of the latest technologies but allow them to work with vendors that provide end-to-end optimized solutions with multivendor interoperability. The massive number of new developments requires our industry to focus on both specific parts of the optical network as well as the overall network as a whole.

The ON2020 Workshop at OFC’17 will address the challenges and opportunities facing our industry with speakers from leading network operators, system vendors and component manufacturers. The workshop is the first opportunity for the wider optical networking industry to join in the discussion that key industry leaders have been having within ON2020 about the new optical network requirements and specifications, general network technology roadmaps and evolution scenarios. ON2020 aims to foster an open and sustainable ecosystem to collectively address the optical networking demands in the cloud era.

Please join us for what should prove to be an exciting and informative session with presentations from Facebook and Verizon on "Future Directions for ROADM Network Development" and presentations from Huawei and Nokia on "T-SDN and the Future of Optical Networking." The presentations will be followed by panel discussions where the speakers will be joined by Sterling Perrin, principal analyst with Heavy Reading, and industry experts from Bell Labs, Finisar, Fujitsu, Huawei and Lumentum.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday, March 22, at the LACC in Room 518 from 8:15 am until 10:00 a.m. (with continental breakfast served starting at 7:45 am), and is open to all OFC attendees. More information on the workshop and speakers is available at http://events.lightreading.com/on2020ofc. Optical Network 2020 (ON2020) is an open association that aims to drive innovative optical network solutions to better meet the optical networking demands in the cloud era towards year 2020 and beyond. More information on ON2020 can be found at www.ON2020.org.

— Simon Stanley, Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading

This article is sponsored by ON2020.

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