Traditional network architectures are comprised of networking layers that rely on line cards for service hand-off between the layers. This kind of layered architecture is highly inefficient as it consumes too much Capital Expenditure (CapEx) resources and relies on manual operations for service hand-off between the layers. Moreover, each networking layer has its own control and management planes associated with it, which operate independently from each other. This creates huge complexities in service assurance, fault correlation, path optimization in terms of network utilization, as well as network planning and optimization.
These complexities represent challenges to service providers’ aspirations towards achieving service driven end-to-end, closed-loop automation across the entire network infrastructure. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) associated with this network architecture is prohibitively high and will not allow service providers to scale their network to meet the capacity demands of IP services in a cost-efficient manner. Cisco is committed to addressing these challenges by applying simplification through key technology that brings about true convergence of the IP and optical domains. Network simplification is aimed at removing complexities inherent to the infrastructure in order to allow service providers to leverage their assets more effectively through:
- Transformational changes applied to the transport network architectures
- Coherent pluggable modules which offer reach and performance at the right cost points and power profiles
These initiatives are embodied in the Converged SDN Transport architecture framework which is a key enabler for the realization of Cisco’s vision for the Internet for the Future. This new approach transitions networks from the siloed infrastructure to a new architecture that relies on a single control plane based on IP/MPLS in a converged Hop-to-Hop (H2H) IP and optical network. This drives significant simplification and cost savings. It addresses the complexities and redundant networking layers that present bottlenecks to scalability and enables end-to-end automation in the service provider network infrastructure through:
- Direct integration of high capacity optical interfaces (for both grey and coherent) directly on the routing devices
- Full core H2H IP routing architecture
- A single, unified transport SDN across IP/routing and optical transport infrastructure for:
- Unified capacity and network planning
- Path optimization
- Service assurance
- Inventory and element management
- Closed-loop automation
Transformative architectural changes are often disruptive to the present operational constructs of many service providers and thus involve a phased introduction. Service providers would take different paths to reach the envisioned Converged SDN Transport architecture based on the level of change they are willing to operationalize at Day 1. The Converged SDN Transport solution can interwork with any ROADM-based optical network architecture today.