Nokia and Appledore Research have just published a great paper on IP/Optical coordination (link; registration required), in which it supports much of the vision we at Sedona have been following over the last few years.
The paper, which accompanied a very interesting Webinar co-hosted by Nokia and Appledore Research, lays out a very compelling case for multi-layer network coordination and advances the hierarchical network control architecture we’ve been pushing in recent years. On that last point, Nokia chimes with a growing number of key CSPs, including Vodafone, Telefonica and TIM, that have indicated that their preferred SDN architecture has a separate transport controller right above the domain controllers of multiple vendors.
Nokia reports interworking with one major vendor and two minors. It is a step in the right direction, as multi-vendor capability is key for successful Hierarchical Controller deployment. At Sedona we have dedicated much attention to building the widest possible vendor support and our solutions come pre-integrated with all major players.
Nokia’s paper does a great job in describing the major use cases of IP/Optical coordination – from topology discovery to diversity analysis, from coordinated maintenance to multi-layer network protection. Our followers are well acquainted of these cases and their benefits. We’ve been running them on live networks of major carriers for quite some time.
The Nokia paper correctly recognizes the importance of IP/Optical mapping and the deficiency of LLDP. We strongly agree that this is a cornerstone of any multilayer control system, and it’s a hard problem to solve. Some of our most significant patents are for solutions to this problem.
Finally, along a number of qualitative benefits, the paper also sets up a very solid busin
ess case for IP/Optical coordination. Calculating 8 categories of benefits, including reduced engineering costs, better support ticket management and revenue loss prevention, the paper comes up with an annual savings of $6.2M for a typical tier-1 operator with 6 million subscribers. Not too bad!
Now that the vision is shared, the name of the game is deployments and field-proofing. It takes a lot of effort to move from POC-grade code to robust scalable solutions. Take for example the visualization of a complex multi-layer network with thousands of nodes. How do you keep track of it all and how do you represent it usefully on a single pane of glass? It took Sedona a few product generations and a lot of customer feedback to reach the level of maturity required to win major accounts. These pioneering customers – like Vodafone in the case of Sedona – will be necessary partners in determining the future direction of HCO and IP/Optical coordination.