Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) says it will soon support the use of disaggregated open optical line system (OLS) hardware in metro packet transport networks. The intended approach leverages a microservices-based management and control platform disaggregated from the OLS hardware. The company also will offer the TCX1000 Series Programmable ROADM based on Lumentum's whitebox hardware portfolio as an open OLS hardware element.
As Juniper Networks notes in its announcement of the new capabilities, a growing number of data center and service provider network operators have expressed interest in decoupling network control from OLS hardware to create a programmable photonic network layer. Such a programmable photonic layer would promote flexibility, cost reduction, multi-layer visibility, and multivendor operation. Efforts such as the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), of which Juniper Networks and Lumentum are members, aim to advance this trend, including creating an environment favorable to the development and deployment of whitebox systems (see "Telecom Infra Project attracts optical communications companies" and "Telecom Infra Project intros Voyager white box open packet DWDM transponder").
To more fully participate in the evolution toward the use of open optical systems, Juniper Networks has created a new version of the proNX Service Manager network management platform it acquired along with the rest of BTI Systems (see "Juniper Networks to buy BTI Systems"). proNX Optical Director offers a micro-services-based architecture approach that will accommodate third-party applications as well as control both optical transport systems hardware and the open OLS elements between them, saysDonyel Jones-Williams, director of service provider portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks. The proNX Optical Director also uses a standards-based YANG API to integrate with Juniper Networks' NorthStar Controller, which Jones-Williams says will enable network visibility and coordination from Layer 0 to Layer 3 within an operator's software-defined networking (SDN) network and service management framework.
At the hardware level, the TCX1000 is the only OLS element Juniper Networks currently plans to provide. Jones-Williams says his company is recommending use of Molex/Oplink EDFAs in open OLS scenarios and is working with other vendors in areas such as Raman amplification to ensure the level of openness and performance it wants to deliver to its customers. The goal, Jones-Williams adds, is to ensure customers have as long a list of compatible OLS hardware as possible.
Juniper Networks plans to make the open OLS capabilities available during the second quarter of next year. Jones-Williams says the company is working with potential customers on software-centric proof of concept exercises in the meantime. While he couldn't share the names of the companies involved in these trials, he described one as "a TIP-involved company," with internet exchange operators and companies with private cloud networks and data center interconnect requirements as good candidates.
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