Infinera demonstrates SDN transport switch

30 November 2012 | Kavit Majithia

Infinera is claiming to have completed the first successful demonstration of a prototype SDN Open Transport Switch (OTS) in partnership with the US Department of Energy.

The demonstration on Energy Sciences Network’s (ESnet) Long Island Metropolitan Area Network (LIMAN), spanning from Manhattan to Upton, shows the potential of Transport SDN, according to the vendor.

During the demonstration Infinera tested a prototype of the OTS running on its DTN platform. This allowed ESnet’s optical transport network to be configured by an SDN controller using the OpenFlow protocol. As a result ESnet demonstrated on demand bandwidth Ethernet services, including bandwidth elasticity for data-intensive science experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“The ability for the network to scale and handle large data flows efficiently across a multi-layer network is an essential capability,” said Inder Monga chief technologist at ESnet. “The type of bandwidth flexibility, automation and resource efficiency demonstrated in this test are critical to supporting the large-scale data transfer requirements of data-driven science research.”

Through the OTS approach it is claimed that there is the potential to facilitate application-driven control over transport bandwidth services, including converged wavelength, OTN and public transport technologies.

Infinera said that this would potentially allow service providers to leverage Transport SDN to improve the utilisation and efficiency of their network infrastructure, increase network resiliency and deploy new services more quickly, while lowering the total cost of network ownership.

“This pioneering demonstration is an important first step on the path toward enabling Transport SDN,” said Chris Liou, VP network strategy, Infinera. “For service providers interested in deploying Transport SDN, we believe the OTS can play a key role in realising many benefits, including simplified provisioning of bandwidth services in multi-tiered, multi-vendor, multi-domain environments, increased efficiency and utilisation of network resources, and an open, programmable transport network for enhancing integration and automation with applications.”