Backbone networks usually have some excess capacity (EC) to accommodate traffic fluctuations and to avoid early capacity exhaustion. Network operators can exploit EC in optical wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) backbone networks to support survivable traffic grooming, where connection requests are of subwavelength granularity and each provisioned request has to be protected from single-link failures. We investigate novel EC management techniques that can improve network performance, in terms of Service-Level Agreement (SLA) violations and bandwidth blockings, with no requirement of deploying additional capacity. We investigate exploiting and managing EC by the following techniques. i) Preprovisioning: When traffic is light, network resources are reserved by a preprovisioning scheme, i.e., a connection can be provisioned on reserved protected links to increase availability. We show that preprovisioning also decreases connection setup time, an important metric for delay-sensitive services. ii) Backup reprovisioning: Since high-availability protection schemes usually consume more resources, connections in our solution can be switched to a protection scheme that provides lower availability (but higher resource efficiency) by reprovisioning backup resources when traffic increases. iii) Hold-lightpath: We propose a new “hold-lightpath” scheme to exploit EC. This scheme prevents the termination of pre-established (but unused) resources to increase availability and decrease connection setup time. We compare our techniques with traditional protection schemes for typical daily fluctuating traffic on typical backbone network topologies and find that significant improvements can be achieved in terms of decreasing SLA violations, bandwidth blocking, and connection setup time.
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