CALIENT Technologies

Move the light, not the fiber

SDN Optical Transport and DCI Networks


Multi-Layer, Multi-Vendor, Multi-Domain Network Optimization


The economic benefits of converging network layers are powerful. Tier 1 carriers have estimates suggesting 37% to 50% savings in core router network CAPEX by allowing layer 3 to drive the optimization of optical transport networks. Today however this level of optimization is constrained by vendor and network domains (e.g. metro, regional, long-haul), and a path between network end points may traverse many domains.

Service Providers and Data Center Operators want to converge the layers in their networks but to have value they need it to work in multi-domain and multi-vendor networks. Without this they can’t get the full economic and operational benefits of an optimized multi-layer network solution.

SDN solves part of this problem by allowing a more holistic view of provisioning of capacity across multi-vendor, multi-domain networks, but only for very new equipment deployments. Legacy networks that represent a large amount of installed-base capacity still can’t be seen or provisioned as part of a holistic network.

OCS Optimization of Multi-Vendor, Multi-Domain Transport Network

OCS Optimization of Multi-Vendor, Multi-Domain Transport Network


Deploying CALIENT’s Optical Circuit Switches (OCS) at the edges of MAN/WAN networks and between network and vendor domain boundaries allows Service Providers and Data Center Operators to virtualize and control all of the disparate resources in their optical transport networks.

The optical network capacity becomes a pool of resources – It doesn’t matter which vendor’s equipment is in use, or whether it’s a new or a legacy system. The OCS at the network edge allows any client side resource to be connected to any network resource and supports network-wide SDN control of the optical layer. SDN management of the MAN/WAN is achieved with or without OpenFlow and REST APIs on all of the transport systems in the network.

This means that the substantial operational and economic benefits of multi-layer optimization can be fully realized TODAY, independent of network and vendor domain boundaries and also across legacy networks. It also delivers a very low-risk path to SDN deployment in which optical layer transport paths can be added incrementally to the pool of resources under SDN control.

Deploying Optical Circuit Switches at the network edge has the added benefit of a much larger range of protection scenarios, including 1:N schemes and Client-Side equipment failure protection (e.g. core router port or transceiver failure). The OCS solution also supports important new capabilities such as real-time express path setup in DCI networks for large-scale data migrations.

Need more details? PleasePlease download our SDN Transport Whitepaper. Or Contact Us.

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