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This is a positioning paper that presents some of the trends in optical networks, considered within the CaON (Converged and Optical Networks) cluster. The trends exposed are focused on the convergence of optical networks and IT infrastructures, optical virtualization and the control and management in support of emerging cloud computing applications for the future internet. The paper introduces the CaON reference model as a key enabler in support of the future internet, and proposes a high level, multilayer architecture that spans from the physical domain to the applications. The CaON reference model is the main outcome of the joint effort between the projects belonging to the CaON FP7 EC cluster, and reflects the level of agreement between all of them.
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