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In today's commercial IP/optical multi-layer networks, different layers are separately operated without dynamic interaction, which leads to low network efficiency, high OPEX and CAPEX, as well as long processing latency for path provisioning and restoration. Despite a decade of development and standardization efforts, with three different interconnection models (i.e. peer, overlay, and border peer) proposed for a GMPLS-based Unified Control Plane (UCP) in multi-layer optical networks, there are no commercial deployments of these models to date, and the debate for their practicability in a real operational scenario grows in intensity. The authors report a world first field trial of an OpenFlow-based unified control plane for multilayer multi-granularity optical networks, verifying its overall feasibility and efficiency, and quantitatively evaluating the latencies for end-to-end path creation and restoration.
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