This paper proposes and analyzes a strategy for protection and restoration of optical paths in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networks for next-generation Internet infrastructure. Assuming a network model in which a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) layer is overlaid on top of a WDM layer,and a segregation of the traffic on a wavelength basis, the strategy is based on a network dimensioning aiming at: 1) the support of different types of traffic, relating to different service categories; 2) the guarantee that all the wavelength paths carrying mission-critical services (with stringent quality of service requirements) are protected against failure; and 3) the possibility of restoring a large amount of wavelength paths carrying Internet best-effort services, i.e., low-priority (LP) preemptible traffic with no QoS requirements. The reference network scenario is an overlay model in which the optical network interacts with an MPLS network with a separated control plane; the optical network manages its resources to better serve the traffic coming from the MPLS network. Two path protection schemes, namely, disjoint path (DP) and single-link basis (SLB), and a link protection mechanism, namely, local repair (LP), are investigated. Furthermore, the paper considers both the case of using wavelength conversion in the optical nodes and the case in which wavelength conversion is not used at all. The analysis compares the performance of the different strategies in terms of the percentage of optical paths carrying LP traffic not served by the optical network after a failure and of the dimensions of the optical nodes for all the schemes. The analysis reveals that the proposed approach allows the restoration of a large amount of best-effort traffic with a reasonable increase of network redundancy.
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