Optical transport technology has undergone a fast-paced evolution in the last ten years. The industry has produced successive generations of DSPs fueling higher speeds, capacity growth, and the optical layer has been redesigned to include functionality such as flex-grid, colorless ports, Raman amplifiers, and much more.
Interfaces for network management have also quickly evolved. Many service providers are migrating from TL-1 management protocol language to newer protocols and data models like NETCONF, YANG, and OpenConfig for streaming telemetry.
These changes also come at a time when service providers increasingly require open solutions with the ability to mix and match hardware and software from different suppliers. Industry initiatives such as Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and Open ROADM MSA define such interoperability standards.
How often do you get a chance to build a greenfield network?
When discussing the latest technologies, many people focus on new (greenfield) deployments. The use case typically “caps” the old network and deploys a completely new network using next-generation hardware and SDN control for management.
However, pure greenfield deployments are actually rare. In most cases, new network infrastructure is an incremental expansion, with the new equipment fully interconnected to the old network. Very seldom is the old network “torn down” and replaced.
On the network management side, introducing next-generation hardware usually implies that two systems will be required to manage the entire network: the existing one for the old network, and a new system for the new hardware. Careful planning will be required to ensure that all the system integrations are in place to deliver seamless management and operations across the entire network.
NETSMART® 1500 and the Virtuora® NC Solution: Concurrence, or Migration
For customers considering introducing next-generation hardware to their network, Fujitsu offers a smooth and gradual transition from the TL-1 based NETSMART 1500 management system to the Virtuora NC Solution, a SDN-based network control and management system. Most importantly, it offers service providers a choice of what and when to migrate. We have created an overlap approach where the network can be simultaneously managed by both platforms. This allows service providers to migrate individual network functions gradually from NETSMART 1500 to the Virtuora NC Solution ̶ transforming element management as the network grows. This overlap is achieved by expanding each platform’s functionality:
- NETSMART 1500 capabilities are expanded “forward” to provide basic support for 1FINITY™ transponder blades: equipment inventory, alarm monitoring and remote login capabilities are the most critical elements.
- The Virtuora NC Solution capabilities are expanded “backward” to provide alarm monitoring, remote login and inventory for FLASHWAVE® products.
The bridge: providing forwards and backwards compatibility
This extended forward and backward compatibility provides a bridge that facilitates adding 1FINITY products to an existing FLASHWAVE network. The 1FINITY T-Series transponders are added and the entire network can be managed by NETSMART 1500. This is depicted in the diagram below.
Adding transponders to deliver service to new or existing customers is a regular occurrence. The next step is to expand the network by adding new nodes or sites. In this step, the Virtuora NC Solution is introduced to manage the new 1FINITY L-Series ROADMs. This is depicted in the diagram below.
At this stage of evolution, NETSMART 1500 and the Virtuora NC Solution coexist and manage the network together. Over time, NETSMART 1500 management can gradually be migrated to the more powerful Virtuora NC Solution:
- The Virtuora NC Solution has the ability to discover the existing FLASHWAVE 9500 network, the existing equipment as well as every active wavelength in the network. This auto-discovery functionality is performed without any manual intervention.
- Once equipment is discovered, the Virtuora NC Solution provides full DWDM service provisioning and management for both FLASHWAVE 9500 and 1FINITY.
- Full management of OTN and Ethernet services for FLASHWAVE CDS.
- Equipment inventory, alarm monitoring and remote login capability for all FLASHWAVE products
- Microservices and applications resident within the Virtuora NC Solution provides database backup and retrieval capability for every network element
As functionality is transferred from NETSMART 1500 to the Virtuora NC Solution, NETSMART 1500 takes on a smaller and smaller role. Eventually, NETSMART 1500 may only manage residual applications such as FLASHWAVE software downloads, PCN management and provisioning of new SONET-based services.
Networks are not deployed, they evolve
Providing a bridge between the different platforms is critical for service providers. This is the philosophy guiding our use case transition from NETSMART 1500 to the Virtuora NC Solution.
This bridge is critical to ensuring network and service continuity, minimizing manual conversion of information, reducing simultaneous monitoring of two platforms, and reducing the cost and complexity of the transition.
Once transitioned to the Virtuora NC Solution, service providers can then evolve their network by adopting the value-added services and functionality provided by ONAP, multi-vendor open networks, and advanced OSS/BSS systems.