GEANT to add SDN to packet-optical network via Infinera

Infinera says that longstanding customer GÉANT, which runs a pan-European research and education network, will use the optical transport systems vendor's packet-optical software-defined networking (SDN) technology on its fiber-optic network.

Infinera says that longstanding customer GÉANT, which runs a pan-European research and education network, will use the optical transport systems vendor's packet-optical software-defined networking (SDN) technology on its fiber-optic network.

The systems house says that GÉANT recently validated two key elements of its packet-optical SDN approach: the Open Transport Switch (OTS) software and the Packet Switching Module (PXM). The PXM enables Ethernet and MPLS switching intelligence on the Infinera DTN-X platform, while the OTS software enables multi-layer SDN programmability of networks based on Infinera's packet-optical transport platform (see, for example, "Pacnet deploys optical layer SDN and NFV with Infinera"). Both SDN elements will be integrated with GÉANT's ONOS-based controller (see "ON.Lab, backed by AT&T and NTT, offers open source SDN operating system").

Infinera says that OTS, originally focused on optical bandwidth-on-demand capabilities, now also supports the programmability of Layer 2 packet services via the PXM. The result is multi-layer service provisioning and optimization over an integrated packet-optical transport network.

GÉANT has deployed the DTN-X extensively in its network (see "DANTE selects Infinera DTN-X platform for GEANT Research and Education Network"). Nevertheless, Infinera says that the network operator modeled the Infinera approach against other alternatives before settling on the PXM and OTS to improve the flow of data across its network and reduce costs. In particular, the use of SDN will significantly reduce the need to overprovision IP/MPLS and optical network capacity, Infinera says.

"Infinera's packet optical SDN solution offers an effective approach to optimize the GÉANT network and efficiently and optimally handle large traffic flows," said Mark Johnston, chief network operations officer at GÉANT. "We look forward to realizing the expected efficiencies and operational benefits of this solution, and continuing our excellent collaborative work with Infinera on future SDN applications."

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