Thursday, November 11, 2010

NTT Develops GMPLS Virtual IP-Optical Architecture

NTT is developing an IP-optical virtual network architecture to enable the efficient sharing of infrastructure by multiple service providers. With this architecture, the physical network infrastructure consists or IP routers, OXCs (optical cross connects) and optical fibers. The resources are virtually sliced and allocated to service operators. Using the allocated resources, service operators are allowed to setup optical paths between the router pairs in order to form IP links.

NTT said its architecture ensure resource isolation in the physical layer and enables virtual networks to be operated with high degree of autonomy compared to current virtual IP networks that are managed only in the IP layer.

In an experiment, researchers at NTT implemented multiple virtual networks over a wide-area network constructed upon the national testbed network, JGN2plus2. The virtual networks transmitted ultra-high density video at up to about 6 Gbps. The virtual network was also able to reconfigures its topology dynamically by setting up and tearing down the optical paths.

NTT has developed a physical network manager that triggers the setup of the optical path between a router pair, and configures it as an active IP link. For the given source-destination pair of the IP link, path computation for the optical path is done considering the available resources. As soon as the optical path is set up, physical network manager configures the IP routers so that the optical path can be used as an IP link. Such integrated control of IP and optical paths enables to provide virtual networks in a very short term. The architecture is leveraging GMPLS for the network management and control. It means that our virtual network architecture can be implemented using ordinary products that support GMPLS available now in the market.


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