Thursday, May 10, 2012

ADVA Tests OpenFlow for Multi-Layer Network Virtualization

ADVA Optical Networking is pioneering the use of OpenFlow technology to dynamically control wavelength-switched optical networks. Working in cooperation with the University of Essex as part of the OFELIA project, ADVA has developed an optical OpenFlow implementation based on its FSP 3000 transmission platform.

Project OFELIA provides researchers with a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) testbed to experiment with new applications using a web-services approach. The aim is to use a common OpenFlow control for both the packet and optical layers.

The SDN facility at University of Essex comprises packet switches and application servers that can be dynamically connected by optical lightpaths. External users can directly access the facility via G√ČANT, a high-bandwidth pan-European backbone that interconnects national research and education networks. Web-based tools and services enable users to request network resources from OFELIA and run, control and monitor their own SDN applications.

"SDN presents a tremendous opportunity for customers to streamline and automate network infrastructure and operations,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking. “While server and storage virtualization have been widely adopted, network virtualization is still in its infancy. SDN closes this gap by offering programmable network control, better scalability and faster adoption to virtual machine mobility. We have proven that SDN can seamlessly extend into the optical domain and enables network virtualization across multiple layers. The OpenFlow approach extends our existing SDN solution employing our RAYcontrol control plane."

"It has been exciting developing this OpenFlow solution with the team at ADVA Optical Networking”, commented Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, head of the High Performance Networks Group, University of Essex. “Together we have built an SDN testbed with packet and wavelength switches under a common OpenFlow control. This is something that has never been done before. Researchers can now obtain slices of network infrastructure to program their own virtual multi-layer networks. They can use optical switching alongside packet switching to adapt bandwidth, latency and power consumption to their application needs."