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.
What We Demonstrated
Our demo ran on a live network setup hosted by Telefonica. It encompassed IP routers from Juniper, Nokia, and Huawei and optical domains from Coriant, Adva, and Huawei. Sedona’s software connected to all this equipment through their SDN controllers. The demo simulated a fiber cut, and how our app automatically establishes new optical paths for all the affected traffic after considering conditions in both layers and determining the optimal restoration order. Then, after the failed link is fixed, the app also reverts the network back to normal operations hitlessly.
It was the first time ever such capability has been demonstrated, and the dozens of visitors who viewed it in our booth were truly wowed.
View a video of the demo.
Analysts Took Notice
Our demo attracted the attention of top industry commentators. Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading, mentioned it in his Market Watch address at the start of the conference, and then wrote a blog entry about it. “IP+optical integration provides big value for operators and its time is coming,” he concluded, after explaining the conditions that enable it for the first time. He noted that the last missing element in making it a reality was the capability for “multilayer integration in multivendor networks.” And this is what Sedona brings to the table.
Read Sterling Perrin’s article here.
The Press Was Interested
During the conference, I was interviewed by Ray LeMaistre, the editor-in-chief of Light Reading, about management of multivendor networks. The video also featured Victor Lopez of Telefonica Global’s CTO unit that hosted our restoration demo. “Having multivendor interoperability for us is a must,” said Victor. “To do so we need the capability to discover the topology and network information; the second thing we have to do is carry out global path computation… on a multidomain scenario; the third capability that we need is to provision the services.” Of course, our demo showed all these capabilities. Victor revealed that during the coming year Telefonica is aiming to test multivendor management outside of its lab and on one of its live networks.
Also interviewed in the video was Christopher Janz, VP Technology, Fixed Networks Division in Huawei Canada Research Centre, who explained his company’s approach to multivendor interoperability. He revealed the Huawei tested interoperability options in at least six POCs and trials over the last few years.
A Nod from Tier 1 Service Providers
One of the most interesting talks we’ve heard was the plenary session of Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s Senior Vice President of Architecture and Design. In a fascinating 25 minutes he explained that the explosive demand for data services makes it essential for service providers to adopt a software-centric model all the way down to the optical level. AT&T, he said, is now deploying flexible ROADMs in its backbone (and later in its metro networks) with the intention of enabling multilayer control. Fuetsch listed some of the main multilayer use cases AT&T has in mind, including broadband on demand, restoration, and capacity management.
Naturally, we are thrilled that one of the world’s largest and most advanced operators shares our multilayer vision.
For Andre Fuetsch’s talk (from minute 10:00), click here.
Another interesting talk was given by Glenn Wellbrock, Director for optical transport planning at Verizon. He described the challenges that drive service providers to a new SDN based architecture; read it here. He also mentioned Sedona’s PoC at the Verizon lab that shows our ability to automatically map the layers; see our cross-layer mapping demo here.
Vendors Showcasing Sedona
Sedona received strong endorsements from the vendors that participated in the restoration demo. Coriant published an application note about the demo. Huawei has highlighted its collaboration with Sedona in its conference press release and showed a recording of the demonstration in its booth.