Sterlite works with Telecom Infra Project to create open optical transport controller

Optical transport networks are notoriously difficult to disaggregate hardware from software. (Getty Images)

Sterlite Tech, an optical fiber provider based in Pune, India, announced a collaboration with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to create an optical transport controller to manage and control the Voyager and Cassini transponders developed by TIP members.

Cassini and Voyager are open and disaggregated packet/optical transponders within TIP’s Open Optical and Packet Transport (OOPT) project. Voyager was an original design contributed by Facebook that is now being evolved and taken to market by Adva Optical, running software from Cumulus Networks, according to TIP’s website. Cassini is a white box transponder contributed by Edgecore Networks. Cassini integrates 100GbE switching with Layer-1 optical transport functions as line-card modules, and covers data center interconnect, metro and access backhaul use cases.

RELATED: Editor's Corner—TIP Summit roundup news and views
Sterlite is collaborating with TIP to create an optical transport controller. In addition, Sterlite will build a virtualized application on the controller to manage the data plane on these platforms. The controller will be open and will be contributed to the TIP community.
“Optical networks are the basis of operators’ transport infrastructure,” said Ayush Sharma, head of programmable networking and intelligence with Sterlite. 

Ayush Sharma
Ayush Sharma

Optical transport networks are notoriously difficult to disaggregate hardware from software, with experts typically citing “physics” as a challenge. 

In an email to FierceTelecom, Sharma said, “With a vendor-specific solution, the controller function can be separated, but the controller solution is usually proprietary to the vendor-specific hardware. With open optical transport, the controller becomes hardware agnostic, and the open interfaces make the entire solution programmable. Telcos can pick and choose different parts of the solution from different vendors viz. transponder, open line system, etc. as long as they are aligned to open community standards.”

TIP’s OOPT project group is creating open DWDM solutions, models and APIs, covering transponders, open line systems, and routers. This will help accelerate industry standardization of packet optical interfaces, and drive adoption of disaggregated transport platforms.