Adaptive flexi-grid optical networks should be able to autonomously decide where and when to dynamically setup, reoptimize, and release elastic optical connections, in reaction to network state changes. A stateful path computation element (PCE) is a key element for the introduction of dynamics and adaptation in generalized multiprotocol label switching (GMPLS)-based distributed control plane for flexi-grid DWDM networks (e.g., global concurrent reoptimization, defragmentation, or elastic inverse-multiplexing), as well as for enabling the standardized deployment of the GMPLS control plane in the software defined network control architecture. First, this paper provides an overview of passive and active stateful PCE architectures for GMPLS-enabled flexi-grid DWDM networks. A passive stateful PCE allows for improved path computation considering not only the network state (TED) but also the global connection state label switched paths database (LSPDB), in comparison with a (stateless) PCE. However, it does not have direct control (modification, rerouting) of path reservations stored in the LSPDB. The lack of control of these label switched paths (LSPs) may result in the suboptimal performance. To this end, an active stateful PCE allows for optimal path computation considering the LSPDB for the control of the state (e.g., increase of LSP bandwidth, LSP rerouting) of the stored LSPs. More recently, an active stateful PCE architecture has also been proposed that exposes the capability of setting up and releasing new LSPs. It is known as active stateful PCE with instantiation capabilities. This paper presents the first prototype implementation and experimental evaluation of an active stateful PCE with instantiation capabilities for the GMPLS-controlled flexi-grid DWDM network of the ADRENALINE testbed.
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