Bell Labs study suggests integrating IP routing and optical transport uses 40% fewer network resources than 100G router ports and optical transponders.

February 11, 2015

2 Min Read

MURRAY HILL, N.J. -- A study by Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), has identified that network operators who use converged IP and optical transport technologies can significantly ease the burden being placed on their infrastructure by demands for capacity caused by the explosion of bandwidth-hungry applications.

The study, which is published today, looked to determine if and how converged IP/optical control integration could reduce network resource requirements without compromising service availability. This was done by comparing the relative cost of integrating and coordinating resiliency methods in both the IP routing and optical transport network. Resilience is the network’s ability to resume normal operations if a failure occurs and is an essential component of an operator’s highly reliable network.

The results show that by converging routing and optical transport technologies operators can meet the same requirements for service availability while using up to 40% less network resources, such as 100G router ports and optical transponders.

Through the study, researchers successfully uncovered the potential cost benefits using a converged operation of routing and optical transport in an integrated multilayer network model. The study shows that:

  • An integrated resiliency strategy saves costs while still guaranteeing network and service availability

  • Introducing protection for the optical layer based on GMPLS (Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching) allows service providers to meet the same availability levels achieved by routing protection methods based on MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), with total savings up to 40% on router ports and optical transponders over a five year period.

  • The combination of IP and optical transport layer protection with a GMPLS user network interface (UNI) allows service providers to accelerate these savings by freeing up a third of deployed network capacity and provide headroom for two years of traffic growth. Furthermore, by establishing an integrated multi-layer control plane now, a cloud-optimized network can easily be achieved down the line.

To do this, service providers can do the following:

  1. Introduce an Agile Optical Network with a dynamic GMPLS control plane

  2. Extend optical transport layer control to the IP routing layer with GMPLS UNI

  3. Provide open, programmable Software Defined Network (SDN) interfaces based on open standards

The result is an integrated multi-layer network with a unified control plane, with immediate cost benefits from better network utilization and operational efficiencies. Total cost of ownership savings may vary based on the topology size, connectivity and traffic mix.

Bell Labs

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