This paper investigates what impact optical node failures may have on wavelength-division-multiplexed networks, in which reliable end-to-end optical circuits are provisioned dynamically. At the node level, the optical cross-connect (OXC) equipment availability measure is estimated using proven component level availability models. At the network level, end-to-end optical circuits are provisioned only when the level of connection availability required by the application can be guaranteed. With the objective of yielding efficient utilization of the network resources, i.e., fibers and OXCs, circuit redundancy is achieved by means of shared path protection (SPP) switching, in combination with differentiated reliability (DiR). The resulting optimal routing and wavelength assignment problem is proven to be NP-complete. To produce suboptimal solutions in polynomial time, a heuristic technique is presented, which makes use of a time-efficient method to estimate the end-to-end circuit availability in the presence of multiple (link and node) failures. Using the proposed heuristic, a selection of representative OXC architectures and optical switching technologies is examined to assess the influence of the node equipment choice on the overall network performance.
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