OREANDA-NEWS. May 25, 2016. Over the coming weeks and months, we anticipate sharing our vision of the next generation open Optical Line System, with details on how Juniper plans to change the way packet optical transport networks are designed and deployed. Today, the global packet optical transport network is a closed, relatively static environment that lacks openness and automation. GMPLS failed as a standard, with very little interoperability between carriers. Why is this? Is SDN the answer? Clearly a new approach to infrastructure development is required.

Why have we decided to get involved with the Telecom Infra Project? The answer is very simple: we feel the time is right to push the envelope of telecom infrastructure the technology can now support it and leadership is required. As next generation cloud services proliferate, and applications are increasingly data hungry, the demand on the telecom infrastructure is outpacing its capacity to deliver bandwidth with the latency required. In the data center world, operators have invented new ways of processing and transporting data on a massive scale, which has transformed the way business and commerce are deployed and delivered. This has been accomplished largely through automation and interoperable open source designs.

However, the telecommunications infrastructure faces challenges that are not present in the data center. Legacy protocols and equipment as well as geographical and political hurdles have all contributed to a lag in bandwidth delivery. Case in point, regional Internet penetration in North America is roughly 73 percent, while in APAC it is only 44 percent. And the demands on the telecom infrastructure are only going to increase as IoT and IPv6 take hold. As an industry, we need to accelerate the pace of innovation and work together in an open environment to develop solutions that will scale at a global level. At the same time, the cost of deploying and operating these hyperscale networks has to go down to enable wider and deeper access to Internet infrastructure to connect everything to everyone. Closed systems, proprietary hardware appliances, and dedicated manual configuration are clearly not working.

Telecom infrastructure operators and vendors need to implement the methodologies that worked so well in the data center, namely industrial scale automation and open source designs. This is where the Telecom Infra Project plays out its strength: carriers and OTT providers jointly developing open, interoperable infrastructure solutions enabling an unprecedented level of scalability, automation and modularity. At the heart of this infrastructure innovation are open packet-optical networks. Juniper Networks is determined to advance packet-optical networking through the contribution of specifications and design details for an Open Line System and Coherent Transponder Terminal. The designs will be complemented with YANG models and an Optical Abstraction Interface (OAI), which will facilitate the open software programmability and automation that are required to fuel the scalability of the network. This disaggregated solution will mark the beginning of an open collaboration between vendors, operators, and OTT service providers, thus driving the pace of innovation.

So what will this next generation OLS look like? Stay tuned as we embark on this exciting journey. We invite you to get involved in the conversation to make this a shared discussion, so feel free to add your comments below. Be sure to also check out the official blog from the Telecom Infra Project announcing Junipers membership to TIP.