With increasing demand on power utilities, efficient communications networks are more important than ever. Optical transmission, especially 100G optical solutions, can bring greater power utility efficiency and reliability while also improving customer service.
Power utilities that take advantage of optical solutions must keep several factors in mind, however, as a recent Nokia (News - Alert) white paper makes clear, Optical Networking in Power Utilities. Specifically, they should be mindful of bandwidth availability, first-rate security, reliability and easy manageability.
The need for secure networks when it comes to power utilities is particularly great. Power utility networks need to restrict access to the authorized traffic among applications to avoid theft of corporate or consumer information and to prevent malicious grid attacks.
Enforcing secure networks requires controlled access as well as intrusion prevention and detection. Especially important is encryption at the server, backup and in-flight levels.
Encryption can happen at many levels in the stack. Often encryption takes place on Layer 2 via MPLS and Layer 3 through IPSec, but a more cost-effective, transparent and efficient method is encryption on the optical level, Layer 1.
For power utilities seeking Layer 1 security, the Nokia 1830 Photonic Services Switch is a compelling option. The 1830 PSS is a scalable DWDM platform that supports aggregation for Ethernet, Fibre Channel and other protocols, but of particular note is the security built into the switch.
The 1830 PSS can function in a hardened secure mode that allows only the essential logical and physical ports needed to manage the system, disables debug functions and services of the embedded OS and uses only secure network element management protocols such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and SNMPv3.
The 1830 PSS also supports secure networks through Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) authorization mechanisms provide a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) compliant separation of duties for both element management and the encryption services, and Layer 1 security through a 11QPEN4 card that provides certified cryptographic algorithms at DWDM line rate speeds (Layer 1) with little additional latency and jitter.
Further, the 1830 PSS comes with secure management and optical intrusion detection via a unique Nokia Wavelength Tracker technology that enables the measurement of power levels and reading of identifiers for all wavelengths travelling through an 1830 PSS network at multiple measurement points.
The 1830 PSS not only supports the latest 100G optical network transmission, but puts security first and foremost. That’s something power utilities should note as they consider upgrading their communications networks.
Edited by Peter Bernstein