The Emerging Optical Control Plane

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Executive Summary

Traditional transport networks can be modeled as the interaction of two operating planes: a transport plane and a management plane. In this model, the transport plane carries the user data and comprises network equipment, such as line interface cards, switch fabrics, backplanes and fiber plant. Network OAM&P is fully handled by the management plane, implemented by an EMS, NMS, and/or OSS. Now, it's beginning to see the deployment of optical control planes that sit between the management and transport planes. The control plane moves some of the network intelligence down to the NEs. As a result, the NEs have access to complete network topology and resource information, and can use this to plan, establish and maintain user services.

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