The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has published "Framework for Transport SDN: Components and APIs," a whitepaper that describes how software-defined networking (SDN) could be applied to multi-domain carrier networks. The SDN framework document identifies open APIs for Transport SDN based on a melding of the SDN layered architecture and the ITU-T ASON functional element model for optical network control.
The document in particular focuses on the interface between the infrastructure and control layers (the SouthBound Interface or SBI) and the interface between the control and application layers (the NorthBound Interface or NBI). The OIF believes the NBI is particularly important in Transport SDN. It provides access to ASON functional elements, and therefore the network control plane, to enable greater programmability of services, faster service deployment, and better overall manageability of the network. Functional elements accessible via NBI in the OIF framework include call control, connection control, topology, and path computation.
The document leverages the OIF's experience in a joint demonstration of Transport SDN conducted with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) last fall (see "OIF and ONF enjoy joint Transport SDN demonstration success"). The demonstration showed how Transport SDN could be applied to both greenfield (i.e., OpenFlow) and brownfield environments. In addition to existing protocols, the demonstration also highlighted the potential benefits of defining new REST-based NBIs based on a common information model (see "OIF looks to solidify Transport SDN APIs"). Meanwhile, the demonstration made clear that a variety of SBIs could exist within a Transport SDN environment, with extensions for fiber-optic networks.
The framework whitepaper may be downloaded from the OIF's website.
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