Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bell Labs Quantifies Benefits of IP/Optical Control Integration

Network operators who use converged IP and optical transport technologies can significantly ease the burden being placed on their infrastructure by demands for capacity caused by the explosion of bandwidth-hungry applications, according to a study by Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent.

The study found that by converging routing and optical transport technologies operators can meet the same requirements for service availability while using up to 40% less network resources, such as 100G router ports and optical transponders.

Some key findings:

  • An integrated resiliency strategy saves costs while still guaranteeing network and service availability
  • Introducing protection for the optical layer based on GMPLS (Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching) allows service providers to meet the same availability levels achieved by routing protection methods based on MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), with total savings up to 40% on router ports and optical transponders over a five year period.
  • The combination of IP and optical transport layer protection with a GMPLS user network interface (UNI) allows service providers to accelerate these savings by freeing up a third of deployed network capacity and provide headroom for two years of traffic growth.

The key recommendations for service providers:

  • Introduce an Agile Optical Network with a dynamic GMPLS control plane
  • Extend optical transport layer control to the IP routing layer with GMPLS UNI
  • Provide open, programmable Software Defined Network (SDN) interfaces based on open standards

"We know network traffic continues to increase exponentially, especially with new Cloud applications and ‘the rise of the machines’ on the horizon. This study provides the foundation for what will be a deep look into new optimized, network architectures and infrastructure,” stated Ben Tang, a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs.