I recently participated in the Light Reading Packet-Optical Transport Evolution 2013 event in New York City, where I was part of a panel entitled: “Putting the Packet in Metro Packet-Optical Transport.” EXFO was once again a Gold Sponsor for the event, as it has been for the past two years. And, in the spirit of a true full-day conference, the day started with an 8:15 a.m. workshop hosted by the Optical Internetworking Forum.
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading, and also a great host and conference chair, kicked off the day with a view of the market. One of the great announcements moving forward in 2013? Packet optical transport systems (POTS) will be overtaking SONET/SDH as the transport technology of choice for metro networks.
That said, the technology buzz was not what you would have expected from such a transport-focused conference. Can you spell S-D-N? I hope so, because software-defined networking was the real center of attraction and the talk of the day, with the morning keynote setting the tone of the conference. Glenn Wellbrock from Verizon (Photo) had the honors of starting the day with a presentation focusing on Layer 0 vs. Layer 1…SDN. For those that consider SDN to be a control-plane concept addressing a higher-layer environment, well, you are going to have to change your perceptions…
As always, obtaining insight from service providers is the main reason companies like EXFO participate in these conferences. And again, we were not disappointed. With keynotes and panel presentations from Verizon, Comcast, XO Communications, Level 3 and EarthLink, we gained valuable feedback and insight from network vendors, and those who deploy and operate these networks. Always a bonus!
The Packet-Optical Transport Evolution conference was a great event to attend, because in addition to providing an overview of the POTS ecosystem evolution, it also offered perspectives on why service providers are deploying this technology by presenting use cases and applications. From light to cloud, there was a topic for everyone, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!