Turning up the Volume on Open Optical Networking

November 17, 2017

By Jay Gill
Principal Product Marketing Manager


It has been a busy couple of weeks for Infinera in the world of open optical networks, and particularly open line systems.

Open ROADM logo

First, we were proud to be selected as the newest member of the Open ROADM MSA, one of the leading forums for defining and implementing standards for open optical networks. Open ROADM seeks to maintain an equal balance of membership between network operators and system vendors, so we consider it an honor to be invited to join, and an implicit recognition of the leadership we have already demonstrated in other industry forums.

In the same week, we had the opportunity to present at Lightwave’s Open Optical Conference in Dallas. In a presentation titled, “Following the Open Road(map): Milestones to Watch on the Way to Open,” I provided a blunt assessment of the current state of open optical networking and the obstacles that exist, and an industry roadmap to get to a more open future. (Watch a video of this presentation, recorded after the conference.) The conference agenda included talks by leading proponents of opening up optical networks quickly, including AT&T and Facebook, as well as some urging a more cautious and deliberate pace. The range of viewpoints illustrated clearly that, when it comes to open, one size does NOT fit all.

Tip Summit 2017Finally, and perhaps most significantly, on November 9 at the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit in Santa Clara, Infinera and Lumentum announced a major milestone in the development of open line systems. We presented a proof of concept demonstration that implements new open APIs, information models and end-to-end SDN-based control of a multi-vendor open line system. Click here to watch a video describing the demonstration.

Figure 1. Infinera’s Stephane St-Laurent Presenting the OLS Demo at the TIP Summit

The APIs, information models and SDN control framework (illustrated below) have been developed under the auspices of the Open Line System working group, part of the TIP Open Optical Packet Transport project.

TIP open line system
Figure 2: TIP Open Line System Proof of Concept Overview

This work draws on the best available ideas from a variety of industry inputs, most notably the Open ROADM and OpenConfig forums, and extends their work to create a framework that is comprehensive in scope, covering both device level and system level interfaces, while enabling pragmatic, simple integration. TIP members can learn more about the OLS framework and contribute their ideas through the TIP collaboration site.

Summing up these developments, the message is clear: open optical networks are coming and Infinera is helping to lead the industry toward the open optical future. Join us!

Related links:
Video: Following the Open Road(map): Milestones to Watch on the Way to Open
Video: TIP Open Line System Demonstration
Whitepaper: Future-proof Open Line Systems for Cloud Scale Networks
Web page: FlexILS open line system

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