What’s the difference between the challenges faced by Telecom service providers and cable operators in their high-capacity backbone and metro networks? Not much, actually. We learned this at the CableLabs Winter Conference in Orlando this week.
In a recent interview, Google’s Head of Datacenter Fabric and Inter-DC Networking, Vijoy Pandey, urged service providers to stop waiting for SDN/NFV standards to emerge. Instead, he advised, “Just go ahead and build this stuff… start deploying a few things, and you’ll see the benefits right away.” Well, I couldn’t agree more.
We went to OFC 2016 with very high expectations. After all, we were about to demonstrate in Anaheim, California, the world’s first multilayer, multivendor automatic restoration of a fiber cut. Nevertheless, we were overwhelmed by the responses of operators, vendors, and analysts. In our booth and outside it, multilayer control was a major theme in this year’s conference.
I will be discussing the requirements that multilayer control imposes on the northbound interface (NBI) of the Optical layer controller and the IP/MPLS layer controller. This unique perspective calls for some non-obvious requirements that have not been discussed so far in standard bodies (such as IETF and ONF) and open-source forums (such as ODL and ONOS) since these bodies have typically focused mostly on one layer or the other, but not on making both layers work together.