The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has agreed with the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) to offer certification services Optical Control Plane User Network Interfaces (UNIs). The certification program aims to promote the interoperability of optical and packet products.
Development of the UNI certification test specification has begun. Meanwhile, certification pre-testing is already available at the UNH-IOL. Formal product testing should begin early in 2017, with an eye toward enabling the release of the first OIF certified products at this time next year.
Optical control planes facilitate operations and enable dynamic provisioning, restoration, and optimization across fiber-optic networks. Network operators have begun to deploy such optical control planes, but the lack of an interoperable UNI has constrained multivendor interoperability.
The OIF UNI extends optical control plane capabilities to client nodes. The OIF's UNI certification will help promote control plane interoperability in commercial products down to this level. The certification is based on compliance with such standards as IETF RFCs on RSVP-TE signaling. The process addresses the main use cases an optical control plane would enable, including simplified provisioning, automated path selection, dynamic restoration, and multi-layer optimization.
"Development of the UNI certification test specification is happening at an important time in our industry," said Tim Doiron, principal analyst, intelligent networking, at ACG Research. "We've never gotten the optical domain out of vendor isolation when it comes to the optical control plane. Certification and interoperability will aid service providers in their migration toward a multi-vendor programmable, dynamic optical underlay with increasing automation, service agility and reduced operational costs.
"The advent of interoperability in optical networks is a paradigm shift, which will dramatically increase flexibility and innovation in our networks" added Philippe Lucas, senior vice president of strategy, architecture, and standards at France-based international service provider Orange. "The OIF certification is a step to unlock the market by providing a unique reference and a critical market advantage to compliant, interoperable products."
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