Performance benefits are catalyzing open optics operational and transport SDN maturity. Modern coherent transmission delivers immediate reach, power, and footprint benefits. The growing list of use cases is validating these benefits claims.


The maturation of multi-vendor interop and transport SDN

The industry is progressing in terms of both optical interoperability and the maturation of the multi-vendor transport software-defined networking (SDN) framework. Optical interoperability is progressing well in cases such as 400G ZR, though work is ongoing within the OpenZR+ Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) to support interoperability at longer distances with openFEC (a multi-vendor interoperable, industry consensus FEC). Many communications service providers (CSPs) are also deploying bookended optical transmission solutions over third-party lines. CSPs now have several choices to meet their needs in the open optical domain.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Abstraction and Control of TE Networks (ACTN) transport SDN framework, the Transport API (TAPI) northbound interface (NBI), and the OpenConfig NBI have achieved a level of maturity. As CSPs conduct further interoperability testing, the specifications will continue to “tighten.” Service providers (SPs) will include new “tightened” requirements in their next RFx processes.