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Coriant Aware™ Technology: “Like IoT for your optical network”

Attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month, I was struck by the parallels between one of the key themes of the show, IoT, and some exciting new technology we at Coriant announced recently and are demonstrating this week at OFC in Los Angeles. IoT has many use cases and applications, from the infamous smart fridge reordering milk for you to industrial IoT optimizing supply chains and streamlining manufacturing processes. IoT-enabled smart manufacturing provides visibility of each unit of production at each step in the supply chain and through the production process. This visibility enables business processes to be streamlined and supply to better match demand. Coriant Aware™ Technology aims to provide a similar level of enhanced visibility for optical networks – just replace “unit of production” with “wavelengths” and “supply chains and manufacturing processes” with “optical network.”

Coriant Aware™ Technology addresses a number of limitations that lead to slow provisioning times for new wavelengths, increase operational costs, and limit reach and capacity in today’s optical networks. These limitations include planning tools that lack real-time data from the optical network and therefore have to stack margin to accommodate worst case scenarios, coherent receivers that are not able to measure OSNR or residual margin, and NMS, SDN, and ASON/GMPLS implementations that lack the sophisticated optical performance models of offline planning tools. As the network becomes more dynamic with the adoption of SDN and the evolution of flexi-rate interfaces with a wider range of modulation schemes and baud rates, these limitations will impose an increasing cost on network operators.

Coriant Aware™ Technology: OPE and MPE

Coriant Aware™ Technology comprises two key elements, the Optical Performance Engine (OPE) and the Margin Processing Engine (MPE).

  • The OPE combines the accuracy of a best-in-class offline planning tool with the real-time speed necessary for wavelength activation, Layer 0 restoration, and other demanding optical use cases. The OPE responds to path validation requests from the path computation function within the NMS, SDN, or ASON/GMPLS control plane. With optical models that consider both linear and nonlinear effects, the OPE generates the valid options for each requested path including modulation types, baud rates, FECs, frequencies, and power levels, enabling the best options, including flexi-rate interface settings and super-channel options, to be selected.
  • The MPE gathers performance monitoring data from across the network including both the coherent receivers and per channel power monitoring capabilities of the optical network elements and uses this data to provide accurate real-time values for the residual margin of each channel. Residual margin is the most useful measure of received signal quality and determines how much room there is for the signal to degrade without impacting the error-free operation. Residual margin is impacted by OSNR, linear impairments, and nonlinear impairments. Accurately assessing the residual margin requires accurately determining the impact of all three of these.

Coriant Aware™ Technology Benefits

Delivering significant benefits in terms of reduced CapEx, increased revenues, and reduced OpEx, Coriant Aware™ Technology enables increased reach/capacity through reducing or even eliminating margin stacking and by enabling better setting of the power levels due to awareness of the residual margin. It provides the opportunity to monetize margin as extra capacity that can be sold to customers for shorter duration services.

Coriant Aware™ Technology enables faster and simpler new wavelength planning and provisioning. In addition to reducing the number of steps, boundaries between planning and network management are eliminated. New wavelengths can now be planned and provisioned without needing to draw on skilled planning tool experts. It can also enable SDN or ASON/GMPLS restoration with reach/capacity that goes from underperforming to exceeding today’s offline planning tools. In addition, visibility of the residual margin can enable proactive downtime prevention such as discouraging the use of adjacent channels, optimizing power levels, or reducing the bit rate.

To learn more about Coriant Aware™ Technology, download the new Coriant white paper Evolving the Awareness of Optical Networks, or come see demonstrations of Coriant Aware™ Technology this week at OFC 2017.

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