Telefonica's Packet-Optical Payoff

Juan Pedro Fernández-Palacios believes he's gone some way toward solving a problem faced by network operators the world over -- how to build a more efficient, automated, self-healing, lower-cost packet-optical network.

He works for Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) I+D, the Spanish carrier's R&D division, which has been looking at ways to improve data networking management techniques.

The operator set up a trial network in Germany comprised of ADVA Optical Networking 's FSP 3000 metro DWDM platform and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR)'s MX Series 3D Universal routers and deployed ADVA's GMPLS control plane software and multi-layer configuration tools developed as part of a European Union-funded ONE project, a three-year project that began in September 2010.

The network was used to provision multiple types of services, including OTN, Ethernet, IP transit and IP VPNs.

The aim was to be able to automatically provision and restore multi-layer networks (up to Layer 3), thereby reducing manual intervention and improving response times. According to Fernández-Palacios, the carrier's project leader, this was achieved -- check out some of the stats in the joint press release issued Tuesday: Telefonica Trials Automated Multi-Layer Network .

"Our motivation is the complete automation of the IP/MPLS and DWDM layers" using control plane and other software tools, he tells Light Reading. "This can be applied to any combination of vendors, not just ADVA and Juniper, but optical and IP equipment from any company."

The Telefónica man says the key to the project was the development of a new UNI (user-network interface) that enabled speedy, automated, multi-layer restoration: When a router in the network failed, a new connection was automatically set up in less than one minute. "For multi-layer networks, the current UNIs are not enough.... Now we are going to introduce our UNI extensions to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards process."

While the key development is the greater efficiency of any multi-vendor network, the project also marks a positive step for partners ADVA and Juniper, which are gaining valuable experience from the project.

The duo have been working together for a number of years and have already been involved in smaller trials in Ireland and the U.S., where the Pennsylvania Research and Education Network (PennREN) built a statewide packet-optical network using their equipment. (See Juniper, ADVA Show Off Packet-Optical and ADVA Launches GMPLS UNI.)

The ADVA team regards the German trial as somewhat special, though, as it's a Tier-1 operator project that the vendor believes is on the radar of other major carriers.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

obaut 12/5/2012 | 5:28:05 PM
re: Telefonica's Packet-Optical Payoff

"a new connection was automatically set up in less than one minute"?

Why does it still take that long adjust L0/1 connectivity -- the L2/3 data bandwidth bursts can come and go in microseconds.

Isn't there a technology to keep the L1/0 transmission links always on (just with zero reserved bandwidth for times of no traffic load) to avoid the needs for connection set ups and tear downs, and continuously keep the physical layer bandwidth allocation optimized according to the actual packet layer data load variations?

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