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OIF, ONF Partner to Test Packet, Optical Networking API

September 13, 2016

The Optical Internetworking Forum and the Open Networking Foundation are collaborating to create and test an API for software-defined networking transport.

The application programming interface will allow the optical and packet layers of the network to better address link failures and peak traffic events as they arise. That’s difficult today given that the optical transport layer is not aware of what’s going on at the packet layer, and that disconnect is becoming more problematic as agile networks and network slicing become more prevalent.

The OIF expects to stage interoperability demonstrations of the API this fall. A key focus of the demonstration will be the notification interface, which is the way of notifying applications that there’s congestion in the network. That will allow traffic to be rerouted to areas of the network for the necessary resources to address it.

Demo participants will include ADVA Optical Networking, China Telecom, China Unicom, Ciena, Coriant, Fiberhome, Huawei, Juniper Networks, NEC, Sedona Systems, SK Telecom, SM Optics, Telefonica, Verizon, and ZTE. Orange and TELUS will act as consulting carriers for the demonstration. China Academy of Telecommunication Research and Centre Tecnologic will also participate.

"In the modern operating environment, carriers need to dynamically move capacity to handle quickly changing traffic demands," said Jonathan Sadler of Coriant and the OIF's technical committee vice chair and acting networking interoperability chair. "The APIs that are being tested create a new breed of applications. Like so many of the interoperability agreements developed by the OIF, demand from carriers continues to drive the technical direction of the forum."

The OIF was established in 1998. It’s an industry group made up of companies in the data and optical networking arenas. Its membership includes carriers, component companies, and system solutions providers. The ONF is a group focused on driving the adoption and helping promote SDN.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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