Huawei unveils SDN-ready optical network architecture

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. has unveiled what it refers to as its fifth-generation optical network architecture — software-defined network (SDN) -based Flex Optical Network — at the WDM & Next Generation Optical Networking Forum in Nice, France. This new architecture sets a new direction in the evolution of optical transport technology, the company claims.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. has unveiled what it refers to as its fifth-generation optical network architecture — software-defined network (SDN) -based Flex Optical Network — at the WDM & Next Generation Optical Networking Forum in Nice, France. This new architecture sets a new direction in the evolution of optical transport technology, the company claims.

The emergence of new services – such as cloud computing, streaming media, and mobile broadband – calls for higher-capacity and smarter optical networks, Huawei says. As next-generation optical network architecture, Huawei's SDN-based Flex Optical Network features resilient ultra-large pipes, efficient multi-layer synergy, and SDN-enabled openness, the vendor asserts.

Resilient ultra-large pipes that support a Flex optical layer, Flex electrical layer, and Flex-capacity technologies, are expected to carry high, fluctuating volumes of traffic. The Flex optical layer, also named Flex-Grid, can effectively improve spectral efficiency, while the Flex electrical layer adopts nx100G-based Flex-OTN architecture, allowing for flexible service switching and multiplexing within large-capacity pipes. Using powerful signal modulation technologies, Flex-capacity can achieve on-demand transmission capacity or distance.

Network efficiency is improved with cross-layer IP and optical synergy, cross-domain management of network element (NE) groups, and per-NE based wavelength-OTN-Ethernet synergy (synergy across Layer 0, Layer 1, and Layer 2). A smart policy engine improves the overall pipe efficiency. The per-bit delivery cost can vary with each pipe layer, and this synergy between layers offers the most cost-effective traffic control, Huawei asserts.

The resiliency and efficiency are made possible through SDN technology, Hauwei says. In addition, SDN creates an open network for bandwidth monetization and effectively reduces the cost per bit through efficient network operations and administration functionality.

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