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Live demonstration of SDN-enabled optical circuit switching at ECOC 2013

Press release issued: 18 September 2013

A live demonstration of a hybrid packet-optical circuit switched software-defined network (SDN), developed by the University of Bristol and Polatis, Inc, will take place at Europe’s largest optical communications event next week [22- 26 September].

Developed jointly by the High Performance Networks Group at the University of  Bristol and Polatis, Inc, the SDN-enabled Polatis optical cross-connects will be used to demonstrate the efficiency benefits of hybrid packet-optical circuit switching architectures for dynamic management of large flows in datacentre applications such as virtual machine migration.

The Bristol University team are the leading researchers in the extension of SDN protocols to support dynamic reconfiguration of circuit-switched optical network infrastructure, enabling greater efficiency, scalability and flexibility of high-capacity service provision.

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Head of the High Performance Networks Group, said: “Unified software control of the physical layer is a key requirement for next generation networks.  Adding SDN support to Polatis optical circuit switches brings dynamic reconfigurability to optical systems and enables us to explore new programmable architectures for efficient, high capacity, telecom and datacentre networks.”

OpenFlow is an emerging standard for SDN which can be used to control optical circuit switch (OCS) elements for applications such as router bypass for high capacity data centres, management of dark fibre network connectivity and advanced colourless, directionless and contention-less architectures.

The Polatis series 6000 is the first optical cross-connect to offer an embedded OpenFlow interface, enabling seamless integration with SDN control planes. The Polatis Series 6000 OCS adds transparent, flexible, dark fibre connectivity for up to 192x192 fibre ports with less than 1dB typical loss and negligible impact on transmission budgets.

Gerald Wesel, CEO Polatis, Inc, added: “We are excited about the close collaboration with the University of Bristol, which has allowed us to accelerate our technology developments to support the emerging SDN market. Our customer response to the Series 6000 in the last twelve months has been phenomenal. The addition of SDN support across our full product range brings dynamic optical layer connectivity with outstanding performance to the software-defined datacentre.”

Further information

About Polatis

Polatis delivers the world's lowest loss all-optical switching solutions for remote fiberlayer provisioning, protection, monitoring, reconfiguration and test, with over 1,000 systems shipped worldwide. Dependable, field-proven DirectLight optical matrix switch technology scales from 4x4 to 192x192 ports, applying leading-edge performance to provide dynamic optical networking for telecommunications, datacenter, government, test and video markets.

About ECOC 2013

The 39th European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) is the largest optical communication event in Europe and provides a forum for new results and developments.

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Head of the High Performance Networks Group at the University of Bristol, is a Technical Programme Committee Chair for this year’s conference.

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