Many current service provider core IP/optical backbones today segregate networking functions into multiple layers. Core and edge routers generally perform all L2/L3 packet processing and deliver packet-based services, whereas optical transport systems provide capacity to interconnect routers, generally via L0 technologies such as DWDM and optical switching, but often combined with L1 technologies such as OTN switching and grooming for managing bandwidth in smaller sub-wavelength granularities. Similarly, the control and management planes for each layer run independently, with typically manual coordination between organizations. This “non-converged” approach results in over-provisioning within each network layer, non-optimally engineered traffic flows, and higher transport costs. Evolution to 100G often amplifies these effects.
Integration of high-speed packet technologies into modern transport systems is creating a new architectural capability that offers service providers a new alternative for constructing the core. Packet-aware transport networks can readily support a mix of L0, L1, and L2 functions, transforming the transport network into a more efficient and flexible infrastructure for 1) natively delivering high-speed Carrier Ethernet services at more optimal economics, such as E-LINE and E-LAN, and 2) providing a more cost-efficient means to interconnect routers as compared to conventional wavelength services, offloading basic packet transport functions off of the routers. Many service providers adopting packet-aware transport functionality are also mandating SDN automation and programmability of the multi-layer transport network.
This presentation discusses the role that Multi-layer Transport SDN plays in the evolved transport core, where packet-aware transport capabilities and converged WDM/OTN/Packet functionality drive more service delivery mechanisms into the once-static optical core. The session will present specific service provider use-cases leveraging the flexibility and agility of Multi-layer Transport SDN, and show how Transport SDN technologies facilitate the simplification and operationalization of the network.