Abstract

The “pay-as-you-grow” cloud computing model has become popular for today’s enterprises. Cloud computing not only frees end users from complex operations, but also allows higher resource utilization, lower investment, and increased energy efficiency. However, with some emerging technologies, cloud computing is unable to meet the required latency level, especially for delay-sensitive services such as 5G communications, live streaming, and online gaming. In this context, edge computing is regarded as a promising technology that can provide low-latency connections in the near future. Unlike cloud computing, which provides service in a centralized mode, edge computing deploys micro data centers (MDCs) at the edge of the network to provide rapid-response service. However, due to the limited computing and storage capacity of a single MDC, a user may not be able to access the resources from the closest MDC during peak traffic periods. Under such circumstances, the user is served through another MDC or a remote cloud data center. The data are processed in an optical line terminal and then transmitted via the metro network, which significantly increases the latency. In this study, we introduce a flexible low-latency metro-access converged network architecture based on optical time slice switching (OTSS) to address the latency problem. By leveraging the transparent connections of the OTSS in this novel architecture, data can be transmitted through the MDCs without requiring extra processing time. The simulation results demonstrate that our proposed architecture can provide lower-latency connections under a range of conditions, with a negligible decrease in network throughput, compared with an existing representative architecture. Additionally, we conducted experiments to validate the feasibility of our approach.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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