FierceTelecom Leaders: Jim Jones and Lyndon Ong, Optical Internetworking Forum

(Editor's note: This article is also included in FierceTelecom's new eBook called Packet Optical Networking Platforms: Maintaining the legacy, next-gen balance. Click here to get your free copy today.)

Complementing vendor and service provider Packet Optical Networking Platforms (PONP) efforts is the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF). Recognizing the service provider's ongoing TDM to packet transformation, the OIF's control plane Implementation Agreements (IA's), including UNI and ENNI can be imple­mented on a vendor's PONP system. FierceTelecom recently caught up with Jim Jones, Vice President of Marketing and Lyndon Ong, Technical Com­mittee Chair for the OIF about how OIF's ongoing efforts and liaisons with service providers and related industry groups are advancing interoperability for optical networking products and related network processing and components.

FierceTelecom: There's been a lot of talk about packet optical network platforms. From an OIF perspec­tive, what is the value of these networks for the service provider that's managing multiple legacy and next-gen service types and what activities is OIF conducting related to PONPs?

Lyndon Ong: We actually don't have a project that's specifically directed at packet optical networking. We've always had a model coming from the carrier requirements that their networks consist of multiple domains. Whether those domains are technology domains or opera­tional/administrative, the role of the OIF is largely focused on how to handle interactions between these domains.

We do have a whole bunch of 100 G projects we have going on right now. On the network­ing side, we have incorporated over time more and more packet-related work. When the User Network Interface (UNI) 2.0 came out and External Network to Network (E-NNI) signaling IA came out last year both of those incorporated a good deal of work that had been done on Ethernet and Eth­ernet services. This is work we have been actively work­ing on with other organizations, including the IETF and the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) through liaisons. Our work has incorporated a lot of packet-oriented extensions in the control plane. Currently, we have an E-NNI 2.0 routing project that's proceeding along the same lines as the 2.0 signaling work. There's also a project on multi-layer signaling, which is specifically aimed at looking at the interactions between layers in a multilayer network. This would be how, for example, routing information gets distributed across a multi-layer net­work and how signaling would be used to provision services across a multi-layer network.

Click here for part II of the interview