Software-defined networking (SDN) enables programmable SDN control and management functions at a number of layers, allowing applications to control network resources or information across different technology domains, e.g., Ethernet, wireless, and optical. Current cloud-based services are pushing networks to new boundaries by deploying cutting edge optical technologies to provide scalable and flexible services. SDN combined with the latest optical transport technologies, such as elastic optical networks, enables network operators and cloud service providers to customize their infrastructure dynamically to user/application requirements and therefore minimize the extra capital and operational costs required for hosting new services. In this paper a unified control plane architecture based on OpenFlow for optical SDN tailored to cloud services is introduced. Requirements for its implementation are discussed considering emerging optical transport technologies. Implementations of the architecture are proposed and demonstrated across heterogeneous state-of-the-art optical, packet, and IT resource integrated cloud infrastructure. Finally, its performance is evaluated using cloud use cases and its results are discussed.
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