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Are You Ready to Deploy OTN Services?

The dramatic increase in bandwidth demand has forced carriers to change their infrastructure. Since carriers are now focused on reducing their operating expenses (OPEX), maintaining their old networks (SONET, SDH, xWDM) is no longer a viable and efficient option.  The optical transport network (OTN) was created to combine the benefits of SONET/SDH technology with the bandwidth expansion capabilities offered by dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) technology.  Today, OTN is not only used in core networks to transport high-speed rates of 10, 40 and 100 Gbit/s, it is also starting to be used in edge networks.

Extending OTN deployment to edge and metro networks creates challenges for technicians who are used to working with Ethernet, IP, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH and other technologies. Some of the challenges include:

  • The need to develop new service turn-up procedures
  • Training and education of field technicians on OTN technology
  • Test equipment availability
  • Testing and troubleshooting procedures

So, is extending OTN deployment worth the effort? The answer is yes. Here are a few advantages that service providers should be aware of:

  • Flexibility of service (e.g., you can have 10 GigE or OC-192/STM-64 over an OTU2 service, or even higher GigE in an OTU0 without “burning” bandwidth).
  • OTN can be used to transport legacy services, but allows convergence to MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0. It can therefore be qualified as a “pay-as-you-grow” architecture.
  • OTN has built-in OAM capabilities that far exceed some legacy technologies, meaning that it improves quality of service.

Still debating the value of deploying OTN? Check out the informative webinar that my colleague Karim Fahim, Product Line Manager and I conducted on Thursday, September 20, 2012.