Abstract

Future networks are set to provide a wide range of services over a multitude of technologies carrying a broad range of traffic profiles. The emerging mobile cloud computing applications are imposing numerous challenges on network operators to enable ubiquitous and on-demand service provisioning. To cope with the rising demands wired and wireless networks, together with IT infrastructures, need to be part of a converged platform. They should allow end-to-end network and cloud composition and virtualization, which are required for ubiquitous and distributed access. Flexible and programmable optical networks can integrate and merge IT and wireless technologies effectively and efficiently. In view of this, we propose the use of a time shared optical network (TSON) for the interconnection of wireless access networks and IT resources and expand its functionality and dynamicity for integration in a converged yet heterogeneous environment. TSON is also extended to facilitate a virtualization-enabled multitechnology echo system. The extensions aim at facilitating hardware virtualization of the TSON technology and include support of higher rates, flexible subwavelength or wavelength modes of operation, and dynamic memory allocation facilitating infrastructure virtualization and reprogramming. An experimental implementation evaluates the impact of TSON’s variable aggregation buffer memory requirements on different frame sizes and its effect on network bandwidth and latency. Using experimental data, simulation studies introduce and investigate large-scale scenarios of hardware virtualization and investigate the resource efficiency advantages enabled by the proposed solution. A theoretical evaluation of the network performance of the proposed TSON solution is also provided, and results on the delay performance of the converged infrastructure and the associated trade-offs are presented.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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