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 Discovery Platform
Sedona’s multilayer app platform, NetFusion Discovery, does that. Building on the emergence of SDN controllers, NetFusion Discovery 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, increasing link utilization and saving millions in CapEx as a result. It also creates a much more agile and flexible network, allowing operators to handle both failures and opportunities more effectively.
NetFusion Discovery, Sedona’s multilayer, multivendor, multidomain app platform, enables apps 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 apps, modifying existing apps, 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 apps, allowing them to focus on business logic rather than infrastructure challenges. These carrier-grade multilayer app 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 apps, allowing control over which app 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 apps
- Emergency rollback to allow the system to revert to a consistent earlier stage
Powerful NetFusion App Suite
The NetFusion App Suite executes the operators’ business logic and optimizes collaboration across layers. Different apps address various aspects of the solution from algorithms to figure out how the layers are mapped to each other. For instance, there are NetFusion apps for coordinating maintenance activities across the layers, for optimizing each of the layers, and for managing multilayer restoration.