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Packet-Optical Network Integration using Virtual Topologies

Recent growth in the bandwidth demands of modern data centers and cloud architectures is driving operators of existing packet networks to investigate more direct use of traditional transport-oriented optical elements in their networks. Integration of optical elements into such networks introduces several challenges, relating in particular to how an optical network topology can be effectively represented within a traditionally packet-based management and control infrastructure. Recent developments in control plane technologies relating to network virtualization seek to ease this problem. This presentation proposes a pair of novel mechanisms for seamlessly integrating optical networking capabilities into existing packet-based network architectures. The first mechanism is derived from existing GMPLS-based techniques as defined within the IETF, as applied to the specific area of topological virtualization. An alternate virtualization mechanism is also presented, which is derived instead from a creative use of OpenFlow technology. These mechanisms are compared and contrasted, and conclusions drawn regarding their applicability to various architectures and deployments.

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