What is OTN Switching?

Author: Babak SamimiStorage_title_image

We’re constantly hearing about the phenomenal growth in big data and the resulting increase in traffic on carrier networks worldwide. For example. this interesting infographic by Qmee captures 60 seconds of online traffic in 2013, and the stats are amazing: 350GB of data uploaded to Facebook, two million Google searches, 204 million emails sent, 278,000 tweets—and a whole lot more—every single minute.

Optical network operators have the tremendous challenge of re-architecting their networks to 100G to keep up with this massive traffic growth and doing so profitably.

As carriers transition their optical network to be packet capable and look to innovative approaches like SDN to manage and control their networks, it drives an overhaul of optical transport networks worldwide.

That’s where OTN networking comes in. By effectively virtualizing the optical bandwidth, OTN also allows all network traffic types to be dynamically assigned with 1G granularity over 100G optical pipes. OTN switching delivers a cost-effective, scalable, low-latency layer to address the bandwidth scaling needed to deal with packet traffic growth. In other words, it makes 100G an economical and reliable technology for mass deployment.

According to Infonetics, the majority of service providers—86%—are choosing OTN switching as the technology best suited to filling 100G pipes, because it enables efficient aggregation of diverse services and protocols over a single optical link. It’s being embraced and deployed by network providers throughout China, Europe, and North America.

For the metro optical network especially, having the ability to fully virtualize optical bandwidth so that it can be channelized, switched and aggregated at 1G granularity, and then transported as an efficient and dynamic sharable resource, fundamentally disrupts the economics of 100G.

Where do you think OTN Switching will go?

Want to know more? Our whitepaper, Enabling OTN Switching over Packet/Cell Fabrics, is a good primer.

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