Omdia and Huawei jointly released The Enhanced All-Optical Metro Network (the white paper for short). The white paper defines an all-optical metro target network as featuring simplified, deterministic, scalable, intelligent, and always-on attributes. According to the white paper, such a network can meet clients’ increasing requirements for superior experience, as well as increase business benefits and reduce costs for operators. With the in-depth development of digital economy and 5G, the all-optical metro target network has become a necessity for network evolution.
Heightened client performance expectations and the digital economy drive optical evolution
According to the white paper, client performance expectations are rapidly evolving. Historically, clients accepted purchasing “products.” Clients were not necessarily after the products directly; they were more interested in the “service” the product enabled. Clients have taken this one step further and now desire “the experience.” Clients from different verticals and of different sizes are rapidly evolving from the “product economy” through the “service economy” and onto the “experience economy.” Home services need to be highly reliable and always-on as the service mix has evolved from purely entertainment to entertainment, business, and education. In the B2B private line market, enterprises require services to be highly reliable and always-on, as well as having low latency and low jitter. They also require rapid new service activation. As enterprises shift mission-critical services to the cloud, they are placing higher requirements on network bandwidth, latency, and reliability.
Operators’ requirements for reduced cost and increased revenue spur the modernization of metro networks and services
On the network side, there are many challenges when it comes to network resources, such as surging costs and difficulties in developing new services. The OPEX of legacy networks with hop-by-hop forwarding and multi-ring stacking architecture is constantly increasing. What’s worse, networks carrying business, home, and operator services are independent of each other, resulting in a large equipment room footprint and high power consumption. Existing SDH devices are outdated and have a small capacity. Such devices also require a large number of optical fibers, as well as much space and energy. However, industry users, especially those in critical sectors such as finance, have increasing requirements for bandwidth acceleration and intelligence. Such requirements cannot be met by SDH devices.
Target architecture attributes of all-optical metro networks: simplified, deterministic, scalable, intelligent, and always-on
- Simplified network: SDH modernization frees up much equipment room space, reduces power consumption, and simplifies networks. The all-optical cross-connect (OXC) technology extends optical switching from core nodes to the aggregation portion of the network, enhancing network flexibility and reducing latency. OLTs directly connected to an OTN can function as integrated service access points for fixed, mobile, and enterprise services, improving operation efficiency from multiple aspects. In addition, OTN P2MP private line services can be provided to meet SMEs’ requirements for premium private lines.
- OTN to the network edge for deterministic performance: OTN is deployed downwards to the client edge. With its key values such as physical isolation, high security, high bandwidth, and guaranteed low latency, OTN meets clients’ high SLA requirements and enables deterministic experience.
High scalability: Improving the single-wavelength capacity and available fiber spectrum is the main method for maximizing the fiber capacity. Single-wavelength 200G solutions can serve the needs of most coverage requirements in a cost-effective manner. Modern networks now utilize more spectrum for up to 120 wavelengths in Super C band, providing excellent scalability of overall system capacity.
- Enhanced network intelligence: Enhanced optical performance visualization can be extended to the edge of an optical network. In addition, the advanced next-generation domain controller T-SDN and a series of operation tools — such as online planning, fiber health prediction, and latency map tools — can be used to implement precise and fast service provisioning, proactive O&M, and network monetization.
- Always-on services: The robust ring and mesh topologies, together with wavelength switched optical network (WSON) and automatically switched optical network (ASON) technologies, support fast service provisioning and rerouting upon faults, ensuring network survivability in multi-fault scenarios.