Transforming Networks with IP-Informed Optical Switching and Optically-Aware IP Routing
In an age of exponential traffic growth and increasing network complexity, service providers struggle to accurately forecast how their networks will evolve and what usage and service patterns would emerge. This often leads to wasteful overprovisioning of resources, adding even more complexity. The fact that most service providers run their Optical layer and IP/MPLS layer (L0-L3) with virtually no coordination exacerbates the problem substantially.
The Missing Piece
Automation and collaboration between network layers, primarily the IP/MPLS and Optical layers, is increasingly seen as part of the solution. Many operators have already taken steps in this direction by automating their optical networks and converging their IP/MPLS and optical teams. However, these efforts still fall short. The missing piece is a real-time, multilayer, multivendor, multidomain solution that collects information from the different network layers, analyzes how they would work better together, and automatically executes the required changes in both layers.
Sedona's NetFusion Platform
Sedona’s multilayer applications platform, NetFusion, does that. Building on the emergence of SDN controllers, NetFusion consolidates information from different vendor controllers into a common multilayer network model. It uses the interface with the same controllers to automatically modify the gear to execute required changes. The platform implements the necessary carrier-grade capabilities to enable scalability, robustness, policy control, and transaction support using established open-source tools.
Multilayer control has a dramatic impact on network service provider business. In some of its use cases, such as cross-layer restoration, it has been shown to save 50% and more of network port CapEx over 5 years. It also creates a much more agile and flexible network, allowing operators to handle both failures and opportunities more effectively.
NetFusion, Sedona’s multilayer, multivendor, multidomain application platform, enables applications to be built in a vendor-agnostic manner while achieving carrier-grade robustness. It is based on the following design principles.
- Software-only solution
- Multivendor support at both IP/MPLS and Optical layers
- Works with existing gear: no change needed to network elements
- No technology religion: works with OpenFlow- or NETCONF-enabled network elements, as well as legacy network elements, and with SDN controllers/orchestrators based on ODL, ONOS, or any other architecture
- Ready now: pre-standard solution provides value today using the existing northbound APIs of the various controllers
- Leverages open-source components as much as possible
- Open solution: allows customers and other developers to extend the functionality by adding new applications, modifying existing applications, and adding adapters to other vendors or simulation tools
- Leverages best-of-breed subject-matter expertise in the controllers of each layer. The Optical layer controllers know best which connections are feasible. The IP/MPLS layer controllers know how to collect traffic statistics across a complex network. The IP/MPLS layer simulators know how to accurately predict the behavior of the IP/MPLS layer under changes. Sedona’s solution leverages all these to create the best overall solution.
Robust Common Services
Sedona’s middleware provides common services to the applications, allowing them to focus on business logic rather than infrastructure challenges. These carrier-grade multilayer application services include the following.
- Common network model for multiple layers
- Abstraction from vendor-specific details
- Database transactions and persistence, enabling consistent operation across software and hardware failures
- Synchronization between multiple copies of NetFusion, allowing the solution to scale by distributing the system over multiple machines
- Access rights for applications, allowing control over which application and which user has read-write permissions for which network resources, which is critical for gradual deployment
- Locking of resources – removing race conditions between different applications
- Emergency rollback to allow the system to revert to a consistent earlier stage
The applications execute the operators’ business logic and optimize collaboration across layers. Different applications address various aspects of the solution from algorithms to figure out how the layers are mapped to each other. For instance, there are NetFusion applications for coordinating maintenance activities across the layers, for optimizing each of the layers, and for managing multilayer restoration.