Networking Investigate

Getting Routers Out of the Core: Building an Optical Wide Area Network With "Multipaths"

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Executive Summary

The authors propose an all-optical networking solution for a Wide Area Network (WAN) based on the notion of multipoint-to-multipoint light-paths that, for short, they call "Multipaths". A multipath concentrates the traffic of a group of source nodes on a wavelength channel using an adapted MAC protocol and multicasts this traffic to a group of destination nodes that extract their own data from the confluent stream. The proposed network can be built using existing components and appears less complex and more efficient in terms of energy consumption than alternatives like OPS and OBS. The paper presents the multipath architecture and compares its energy consumption to that of a classical router-based ISP network.

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