Abstract

Network operators are evolving their optical transport networks in order to make them cost effective. In some scenarios, this means considering adopting software-defined networking principles along with open and standard interfaces, leveraging the underlying hardware programmability while, at the same time, considering the benefits of (partial) disaggregation, in view of the potential benefits of decoupling terminal devices from the line systems or of separating the hardware from the controlling software. In this evolution, operators often segment their networks into domains. Reasons include the need to scale, or confidentiality and/or vendor interoperability constraints. Additionally, the need to virtualize the (multi-domain) transport network has emerged as a key requirement to support functions such as network slicing and partitioning, and to empower end users to control their allocated partitions, enabling new business models related to multi-tenancy. In this context, several standards-defining organizations have been working on architectures, interfaces, and protocols to support requirements, such as the Abstraction and Control of Traffic Engineering Networks of the Internet Engineering Task Force, known as ACTN. In this article, we experimentally validate a control plane architecture for multi-domain disaggregated transport networks that relies on the deployment of network elements compliant with the OpenROADM multi source agreement device model. We demonstrate the abstraction and control of such networks in line with the ACTN framework and we show the applicability of the approach with a proof-of-concept testbed implementation.

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