Fibre-Optic Networking Integrated Advantage
IP, fibre-optic integration can improve network management
The integrated use of Internet Protocol (IP) networking functionality and fibre-optic networking enables service providers to manage end-to-end transport networks that include IP services, optical data transmission, network performance and security within a single system, says networking specialist company Alcatel Lucent Southern and Eastern African solutions consultant Tim Nicholas.-Fibre-Optic Networking Integrated Advantage
IP and fibre-optic networks are usually provisioned separately. However, Alcatel Lucent has developed a common management system that manages optical and IP networks, signal and supervise lambdas (distinct wavelengths of light used to send streams of data over optical fibres) and security while the network is in operation.
A second development is the company’s Wavelength Tracker System, which provides powerful end-to-end capabilities as temperatures and conditions vary over various parts of the fibre-optic network, such as the automatic management of the power levels of the lambdas in the presence of loss, noise and other fibre-optic impairments for high performance and throughput. The company has also developed low-latency encryption of signals to remove the possibility of interception along an optical fibre.
“The purpose of an integrated IP and optics management of all characteristics of an IP and fibre-optic based transport’s overall performance”, he explains.
The IP and the optics management system enables users to view the status and manage each part of the network, as well as identity problems at individual ports on switch or portions of optical fibre. Therefore, maintenance and repairs are much more focused and efficient, removing the need for extended on-site troubleshooting before repairing the faults. Systems engineers can, thus focus on the operation of the network and improving performance, rather than on unnecessary on-site repair visit, says Nicholas.
Alcatel Lucent gave journalists a demonstration of systems in operation a few months back using demonstration equipment flown in from France.
The system’s rapid processing enables constant monitoring of all links and junctions in a network, even down to a single fibre and individual port level. This enables holistic management of the network, which enables intelligent switching and routing, security monitoring and high-capacity throughput.
The company has also developed their own IP and Optics processors that run at 400Gbs that can manage the dispersion, losses and characteristics on a line while it is operating, ensuring smooth performance and constant, high volume throughput across wavelength.
The system can be developed on existing fibre-optics networks, but will require new equipment to be deployed on various points of the optical network to manage it holistically . The company can provide 88 wavelengths, each carrying 10Gb/s, 40Gb/s, 100 Gb/s or 200Gb/s of data on a single fibre.
The IT and optics development are underpinned by significant research in optical technologies by Bell laboratories, as well as in the development of high speed processing and security systems do, these services can by provided as part of wire speed operations without impacting significantly on network speed and latency. Nicholas concludes.