Vodafone has completed a trial of the Telecom Infra Project’s (TIP’s) Voyager open white-box packet-optical transport system (see “Telecom Infra Project intros Voyager white box open packet DWDM transponder”). The trial leveraged a Voyager operating system from Cumulus Networks, says Cumulus (see “Cumulus Networks announces availability of Cumulus Linux for early access on Voyager”). The success of the trial demonstrates that the Voyager and its attendant ecosystem are ready for commercial deployment.
Vodafone used the Voyager platform with a network OS from Cumulus Networks and a NetOS software-defined network (SDN) orchestration capability from Zeetta Networks on a live network in Spain. ADVA, one of the architects of the platform, also provided support. The trial saw the Voyager platform support 800 Gbps per rack as well as dynamic adaptation of the system modulation as fiber conditions changed. The optical network used SDN principles to conduct real-time monitoring of the optical line performance and generally demonstrated the ability of an SDN and Voyager enabled infrastructure to set up optical services and maintain them, said Cumulus.
"We wanted to show how Voyager's variable-rate transceivers can be used to match speeds and modulation formats with actual line conditions," explained Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone’s Group Head of Networks Strategy and Architecture. "Thanks to a streamlined network operating system and SDN automation, we showed how our live network can set-up optical services and keep them running, reduce unnecessary and lengthy customer service interruptions, and improve network utilization."
"The successful results from Vodafone’s live trial represent a significant step toward how optical networks will be designed in the future," added JR Rivers, co-founder and CTO at Cumulus Networks. "Cumulus has found success bringing disaggregation to the data center and we are now applying that model to optical networks, which haven’t been disrupted in decades. We believe buy-in from top providers like Vodafone validates the importance of shifting to a disaggregated model in telecommunications. By sharing the success of the trial, we hope to encourage other providers in the optical industry to consider the benefits of moving away from traditional vendor lock-in and embracing open alternatives."
The Vodafone trial follows several earlier stage trials of Voyager (see, for example, "Nine customers testing TIP Voyager white box transponder: ADVA,""Telia Carrier, Coriant, Facebook trial Voyager white box platform between Stockholm and Hamburg," and “InterNexa, ADVA Optical Networking trial Telecom Infra Project Voyager whitebox packet DWDM transponder”). Speaking at OFC 2018 this past March, sources at ADVA suggested that deployments of the platform could begin in the latter part of this year.
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