Infinera (News - Alert) recently announced the successful demonstration of a prototype Software Defined Network (SDN) Open Transport Switch (OTS). The demonstration enabled the optical transport network of ESnet (U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network) to be configured by an SDN controller through the OpenFlow protocol.
ESnet effectively enhanced its SDN controller and successfully demonstrated on-demand bandwidth Ethernet services, which included improved flexibility in bandwidth for data-specific science experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory over their LIMAN network which extends from Manhattan, NY, to Upton, NY.
In a statement, ESnet chief technologist Inder Monga, said that, "The emerging era of data-intensive science demands the highest level of performance from the network. The ability for the network to scale and handle large data flows efficiently across a multi-layer network is an essential capability. The type of bandwidth flexibility, automation, and resource efficiency demonstrated in this test are critical to supporting the large-scale data transfer requirements of data-driven science research."
The demonstration effectively validated capabilities of Transport SDN and extends advantages of SDN for the dynamic optical transport layer. The OTS concept, which is a virtual transport switch, can be deployed on optical transport systems to serve as an interface with SDN Controller through the OpenFlow protocol. With multi-layer coordination and control, service providers will be able to use Transport SDN to optimize their network infrastructure; strengthen network resiliency; and deploy new services while also benefiting from simplified and automated operations which can bring about substantial reductions in total cost of network ownership.
Chris Liou, VP Network Strategy, Infinera, said that, "This pioneering demonstration is an important first step on the path toward enabling Transport SDN. For service providers interested in deploying Transport SDN, we believe the OTS can play a key role in realizing many benefits, including simplified provisioning of bandwidth services in multi-tiered, multi-vendor, multi-domain environments, increased efficiency, and utilization of network resources, and an open, programmable transport network for enhancing integration and automation with applications."
To implement OTS and extend SDN to the transport layer, platforms, which are in building this layer, should be capable of virtualizing both digital and optical resources. Infinera's Bandwidth Virtualization offers this abstraction via the integration of a GMPLS software control plane, and integrated OTN switching and photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman