OIF members define Transport SDN needs, start on framework

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) Carrier Working Group has finished development of a set of requirements for Transport Software-Defined Networking (SDN). With the publication of “OIF Carrier Working Group Requirements on Transport Networks (TN) in SDN Architectures,” the OIF now turns its attention toward the development of a framework document as stepping stone toward SDN-related specifications and Implementation Agreements.

The requirements document represents the culmination of an effort that began this past March (see “OIF targets 400G module, Transport SDN” and "OIF to explore Transport SDN, CFP2"). The work summarizes what is already available in the way of Transport SDN and details new features and functionalities needed to support the deployment of SDN applications, services, and technologies in carrier networks.

Areas of interest described in the document include:

  • Functions that need to be provided by a control plane enabled TN to an SDN controller or orchestrator to support SDN use cases, applications, and services
  • Orchestrator functional requirements to ensure the desired coordination between functions and services spanning across multiple layers in a TN and crossing multiple SDN domains to achieve end-to-end service orchestration
  • The combination of TN-relevant SDN architecture components – data plane, control and management plane, and orchestrator – and the relationship among them.

The OIF says that carriers have expressed a strong desire for a consistent set of SDN-related standards and specifications to enable a seamless migration to SDN architectures. The OIF is setting itself up to provide them.

“I am more than happy that we have achieved our first milestone in defining carrier requirements on Transport SDN,” said Hans-Martin Foisel of Deutsche Telekom and the OIF Carrier Working Group chair and OIF board member. “This will not only guide our next steps in the creation and implementation of technology to support Transport SDN but also will focus our communications with other SDOs and forums so that we can work together to streamline the different aspects of Transport SDN.”

The OIF has planned a public workshop on “Transport SDN: Cutting through the Hype - Enabling Technologies, Practical Use Cases, and Apps” for Monday, February 10, 2014 in San Jose, CA. The organization also plans a 2014 interoperability demonstration that would address Transport SDN.

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