The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced plans for a global Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Transport Application Programming Interface (T-API) interoperability demonstration in the fall of 2016.

There are a wide range of participating carriers and vendors, which point to the real industry desire to advance the application of SDN to fiber-optic networks.

The demo’s objective is to facilitate the adoption of open SDN, to take the testing into carrier labs worldwide and lead the industry towards the wide-scale deployment of commercial SDN. Network virtualization and flexibility to deal with peak traffic events, link failures and network slicing are driving motivations behind the demonstration. Currently the transport layer operates with no awareness of the packet layer above it, so manual intervention is often needed to address issues. By incorporating the T-API, the problems can be corrected automatically through software.

Carrier participating in the demo include Verizon, China Telecom, China Unicom, SK Telecom and Telefónica. On the vendor side, participants include ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, Coriant, Fiberhome, Huawei Technologies, Juniper Networks, NEC, Sedona Systems, SM Optics and ZTE. Consulting carriers include TELUS and Orange.

“In the modern operating environment, carriers need to dynamically move capacity to handle quickly changing traffic demands,” said Jonathan Sadler of Coriant and the OIF’s technical committee vice chair and acting networking interoperability chair. “The APIs that are being tested create a new breed of applications. Like so many of the interoperability agreements developed by the OIF, demand from carriers continues to drive the technical direction of the Forum.”

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