Software defined networking (SDN) promises to be a key enabler for a new generation of networks by providing flexibility and control for emerging network applications. Meanwhile, as the capacities increase and bandwidth management becomes an issue of wavelength or fiber management, photonic devices become important tools for network control. A key question today is what role photonic devices can play in these SDN systems. The switch configuration and management capabilities of SDN have already been extended to many photonic switching elements such as MEMS based 3D cross-connects, and elastic transceivers and flexible grid WDM devices are candidates for SDN control.
This raises many questions, however. Optical devices are highly specialized in their operation, performance, and control—to what extent is SDN control desirable or even practical? Demand for greater flexibility and control in optical systems may drive new markets and products for photonic devices—what are the possibilities? What role can emerging standards for photonic integrated circuits play in bringing SDN to photonics? What features of photonic devices should be made visible to SDN control and what standardization might be required?
Key questions to be addressed:
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