An OaaS （Optical-as-a-Service）era for transport networks is coming
[Darmstadt, Germany, November 8, 2012]: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solution provider, recently announced a Software Defined Network (SDN) controller prototype for transport networks in the recently held SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Darmstadt, Germany. This is a research breakthrough on the application of SDN in transport networks and also forms an important part of Huawei’s Carrier SDN strategy.
Huawei demonstrated the usage of an SDN controller prototype to support provisioning a large-bandwidth service under the scenario of data center selection and interconnection. The demonstration attracted a large number of participants, especially representatives from service providers.
As the emergence of various services requiring large-bandwidth and dynamic provisioning (e.g., cloud computing, internet video and data center interconnection), the traditional way of providing transport services to applications as “dumb pipes” will result in the growing gap between the high investment costs and the low returns, in addition to the lack of user experience guarantee for major telecom operators. On the contrary, the unique Huawei SDN controller for transport networks behaves like “an intelligent operating system” for transport networks. It enables the operators to deploy services on the fly due to its virtual service capabilities positioning the networks for future service growth.
The centralized controller is based on Huawei's original CSO (Cross Stratum Optimization) concept to assist the orchestration between network stratum and application stratum. One of the capabilities the controller provides is transport network resource abstraction. This allows the application layer to view the transport network in an abstract manner and to initiate user application requests directly to it. The architecture also enables information from the network to applications to achieve bi-directional resource scheduling and optimization. In addition, the SDN controller integrates a southbound interface using the well known OpenFlow protocol. This makes possible for automatic service provision, protection and restoration, optical and electrical coordination, etc. Such an approach provides a path to openness for network virtualization and breaks the closed proprietary vendor boundaries in the traditional switch architecture.
Currently, the Huawei SDN controller for transport networks enables dynamic configuration of transport resources for different application requirements, helps network operators to reduce their investment cost and the acquisition time, and finally allows these operators to rapidly provision value-added transport services.
Huawei has been playing an active role in the international effort to standardize SDN for transport networks by cooperating with operators, research institutes, and other equipment vendors to introduce an intelligent pipe to the legacy “dumb pipe” thereby bringing about an OaaS (Optical-as-a-Service) era for transport networks.