The concept of optical burst switching (OBS) aims to allow access to optical bandwidth in dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) networks at fractions of the optical line rate to improve bandwidth utilization efficiency. This paper studies an alternative network architecture combining OBS with dynamic wavelength allocation under fast circuit switching to provide a scalable optical architecture with a guaranteed QoS in the presence of dynamic and bursty traffic loads. In the proposed architecture, all processing and buffering are concentrated at the network edge and bursts are routed over an optical transport core using dynamic wavelength assignment. It is assumed that there are no buffers or wavelength conversion in core nodes and that fast tuneable laser sources are used in the edge routers. This eliminates the forwarding bottleneck of electronic routers in DWDM networks for terabit-per-second throughput and guarantees forwarding with predefined delay at the edge and latency due only to propagation time in the core. The edge burst aggregation mechanisms are evaluated for a range of traffic statistics to identify their impact on the allowable burst lengths, required buffer size and achievable edge delays. Bandwidth utilization and wavelength reuse are introduced as new parameters characterizing the network performance in the case of dynamic wavelength allocation. Based on an analytical model, upper bounds for these parameters are derived to quantify the advantages of wavelength channel reuse, including the influence of the signaling round-trip time required for lightpath reservation. The results allow to quantify the operational gain achievable with fast wavelength switching compared to quasistatic wavelength-routed optical networks and can be applied to the design of future optical network architectures.
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