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PONC 2012: IP and Optical Convergence with “iOverlay”

The scale of today’s transport networks and content provider data centers are directly driven by the explosive nature of packet traffic growth. As a result, the demand for 100G and beyond is a key topic in the industry.  Cisco’s recent 100G announcement and its industry leading performance for Ultra Long Haul continues to receive significant attention within the service provider community as they consider options for their next generation transport networks.

However, the solution is not only about faster transmission speeds. Service providers must also increase efficiency within their network. Until now, traditional network architectures have inefficiently maintained separate IP and optical transport networks. At Cisco’s Packet Optical Network Conference 2012 one of the key questions that being discussed is, “How will an intelligent network meet the demands of the Data Deluge we are experiencing more cost effectively than today?”

Service providers can no longer look at individual platforms to solve the problems of reducing costs.  They must look at the entire IP and optical network architecture. To help improve efficiencies in both networks, Cisco has developed what we call “iOverlay,” which provides a multi-layer control plane for an optimized IP and optical converged network solution.

iOverlay shares vital information between the IP (Layer 3) and the independent optical layer (DWDM) using a common control plane. This reduces the number of interfaces and transponders, improves capacity planning and provisioning optimizes network protection and restoration, and increases service velocity. In addition to significant capex and opex savings, iOverlay also increases the longevity of the optical network infrastructure by requiring fewer wavelengths.

iOverlay was a topic at the MPLS World Congress earlier in the year. We caught up with Clarence Filsfils who shares his views on the topic:

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