Main objective

The main objective of STRAUSS project is two-fold: At the data plane, the design and development of a scalable, reliable, virtualizable, and cost/energy-efficient optical Ethernet transport infrastructure for data rates beyond 100 Gbps. It combines the flexible bandwidth capacity provided by sliceable all-optical networks and the benefits of optical packet switching such as statistical multiplexing.  At the control plane, the definition and implementation of a SDN architecture for dynamic interworking and coordination of heterogeneous control plane paradigms (GMPLS/OpenFlow) in multi-technology virtual optical networks (e.g., flexi-grid/optical packet switching) for end-to-end Ethernet transport service provisioning and recovery. This network will be able to reduce operational and capital expenditures, favour innovation while reducing time-to-market and enable the deployment of valued added services.


Objective 1: Software-defined sliceable bandwidth variable transponder technologies

This objective focuses on the design and prototyping of adaptable and scalable systems and subsystems for cost/energy-efficient Ethernet transport beyond 100 Gbps. The implementation of software-defined optical transmission systems will be based on multicarrier modulation, e.g., OFDM or its cost-effective implementation namely DMT, as key enabling technology for designing tuneable, bandwidth and bit rate variable transponders. The appropriate modulation formats, suitable cost/energy efficient architectures, sliceable and adaptive functionalities, scalability and bandwidth granularity will be assessed as well as their qualitative and quantitative performance.

Objective 2: Flexible DWDM switching node architecture

Flexible node architectures envisaged in this proposal can support a wide range of switching and processing operations at the node and network wide level. For instance, the nodes will synthesize and adapt their own architecture configuration in order to suit the network requirements. The nodes will support anything from waveband/wavelength switching to arbitrary spectrum switching (i.e. for high-speed transport), sub-wavelength switching (i.e. for increased efficiency) and wide-spectrum conversion (e.g. for spectrum defragmentation). Also, the nodes will enable a physical layer capable to support infrastructure virtualization. One of the major benefits will be the flexibility to support and interface with arbitrary switching granularity, such as super-wavelength, waveband, wavelength and sub-wavelength switching, time and space switching on any port. The proposed nodes aim to increase flexibility in the optical layer for the introduction of new network services and applications such as virtualization and SDN operations.

Objective 3: Variable-capacity OPS node architecture and OPS/OCS integrated interface

To develop variable-capacity optical packet transport and switching infrastructure with Ethernet framing and simplified OPS nodes for transmission beyond 100 Gbps. Design, specification and implementation of an OPS node architecture to meet the capacity and switching performance criteria and also to provide the flexibility in supporting of the envisioned control and virtualization functions. Design, specification and implementation of the FPGA based interface card to integrate the data plane of the two optical transport systems of OPS and flexi-grid OCS based on the control information it receives from upper layers.

Objective 4: Transport infrastructure virtualization

This objective aims to design, implement and evaluate a full featured virtualization mechanism capable of comprising multiple concurrent, isolated and independent virtual infrastructures sharing resources. This enables efficient provisioning of independent coexistent Ethernet transport services over the heterogeneous optical transport network. To this end, the proposed Virtualization Visor will provide abstraction of heterogeneous optical transport technologies and network elements, virtualization algorithms and methods based on efficient partitioning of physical layer network resource i.e. switching nodes, transceivers and bandwidth, and the required interfaces for control and management of composed virtual infrastructures.

Objective 5: Control plane solutions for virtual transport networks

This objective targets the definition of control plane solutions for the covered transport technologies. Although STRAUSS major focus is GMPLS and OpenFlow as intra-domain control architectures, not all combinations apply: flexi-grid DWDM networks are core transport technologies and as such will be controlled by either GMPLS or OpenFlow, while OPS networks are scoped to the access and aggregation network segment, being better controlled by the OpenFlow centralized control model. Protocol extensions and procedures will be provided complementing those partially covered in other projects (GMPLS for flexi-grid networks in [IDEALIST], OpenFlow extensions for Wavelength Switched Optical Networks in [OFELIA]), such as OpenFlow extensions for OPS, better support for OCS and include multi-layer adaptations.

Objective 6: Software defined network architecture

Based on the aforementioned concepts, the first control-plane objective is the elaboration of a detailed, functional specification of this new control architecture for a dynamic network operation in heterogeneous control domains. In particular, this objective fully addresses the functional description and concrete definition of the Network Orchestrator, based on identified SDN principles, illustrating the seamless path / connection provisioning, along with its building blocks and input & output interfaces. The obtained definition must fulfil the requirements of the already identified use cases. 

Objective 7: Control Orchestration Protocol and northbound APIs

This objective involves the definition, the protocols and interfaces for the interworking of heterogeneous control plane paradigms, by abstracting a common set of control plane functions used by an SDN orchestrator and using the hereby defined “Control Orchestration Protocol” (COP), implemented at the orchestrator southbound interfaces and in selected entities within each heterogeneous control plane paradigm. This objective also includes the specification of a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and protocols to be used by applications in the north-bound interface. Note that, although the general definition of the API for applications is out of scope of the project, a simple proof-of-concept, a preliminary definition will targeting the main use case, which shall enable the operation of the network when requesting connectivity services coming, for example, from a legacy NMS system. It is expected that when addressing this objective, it will be required to improve existing control plane technologies. Such improvements target aspects such as the adaptive and impairment-aware spectrum management via monitoring optical performance and traffic profile or the management of optical constraints (for a given network abstraction model).

Objective 8: Implementation, experimental validation and demonstration

This objective aims at implementing and developing the considered Ethernet transport infrastructure addressing the integration of both technologies (i.e., optical packet and flexi-grid all-optical switching) controlled by a SDN architecture enabling the cooperation between heterogeneous control plane paradigms (GMPLS and OpenFlow). The resulting implementation will be exhaustively validated in the experimental platforms and laboratories provided by the consortium assessing the operability of the key functional elements (at both data and control planes) constituting the targeted architecture. Finally, testbeds representing selected use cases (e.g., data centers interconnection) will be used as proof-of-concepts demonstrating the applicability and feasibility of the investigated network technologies and architecture.

Objective 9: Scientific dissemination and contribution to standardization bodies and fora

The objectives and deployment of the STRAUSS architecture are tied to the work being currently conducted in relevant standardization fora. In this regard, STRAUSS will consider contributing to both the standardization of Ethernet transmission beyond 100 Gbps being addressed by the OIF and IEEE802, and the definition of the SDN architecture and control plane solutions discussed in the IETF and ONF. From the implementation and validation activities, STRAUSS will present our experiences and results in order to contribute and provide feedback in order to improve the standardization work. 

Objective 10: Fostering scientific collaborations

The final objective is to promote the scientific exchange and collaboration among other scientific projects and organizations such as JGN-II (Japanese research project), and IDEALIST and OFELIA (European research projects).