The Intelligent Transport Network uses Embedded Software Intelligence over a Bandwidth Virtualization layer in order to drive down operational costs, simplify day to day network operations, and improve the responsiveness of the network.
In conventional, all-optical networks, there is no service-ready capacity waiting in the network for automated service provisioning or protection. In addition, the use of all-optical ROADM technology means that wavelength re-routing is a non-deterministic operation. In other words, even if control plane technology was used, there would be no capacity for it to use, and no guarantee that a wavelength rerouting operation will complete successfully.
For this reason all-optical networks make little or no use of intelligent control planes.
The Intelligent Transport Network is based on a digital architecture – Bandwidth Virtualization – which results in two critical differences versus the all-optical network:
The combination of these two properties means that control plane protocols, such as ASON/GMPLS can now operate to their full potential. In fact Infinera customers are operating the largest GMPLS networks in the world, and have been doing so for almost ten years. They have discovered how cost-effective the use of Embedded Software Intelligence really is, and have prospered well against their competitors who are still forced to set up Transport Network connections in a manually intensive way.
GMPLS is a distributed Control Plane technology that is now fully battle-hardened after many years of use. However, there is an increasing interest in solving certain types of multi-layer or multi-domain provisioning problems by adopting a more centralized control plane approach – analogous to a Software Defined Network.
Infinera is a pioneer in Transport SDN, which is a control plane architecture that is specifically designed to address the needs of service providers. See our Transport SDN page for more details.