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Advancing toward standardized Wave Services

Demand for capacity continues to grow at a fast pace in an always-connected world. The growing popularity of real-time and interactive applications requires high capacity and assured latency. The increasing momentum for Internet of Things (IoT) applications will further lead to an unprecedented requirement for capacity to connect billions of devices creating a programmable world. This ever-rising demand for capacity is leading to an increase in using Wavelength Services or Wave Services.

Wave Services are particularly appropriate in handling large volumes of data with assured latency and high availability that needs to be moved quickly between locations. Strong need for supporting a variety of applications underlines the growing importance of Wave Services for interconnectivity.

  • This technology is perfect as Data Center Interconnect for both private and hybrid clouds
  • The technology can also be used to connect data centers that support a broad range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications in various sectors such as healthcare, automotive industry, and critical communications
  • Interconnect of mobile network operator’s fronthaul, backhaul, and Evolved Packet Core is yet another application of Wave Services
  • It can also provide foundation for Carrier Ethernet or IP VPN services

Newer applications are likely to emerge as Wave Services gain traction over the coming years.

Need for standardization

Over the last few years, optical networks have evolved from rigid to agile and increasingly, flexible. Colorless Directionless and Contentionless Flexible Grid (CDC-F) has partly enabled this transition. It allows service providers to dynamically optimize and re-route wavelength connections, thus helping them to recover capacity and enhance the overall efficiency of the optical network. Another significant technical advancement is super coherent technologies, which increases transport wavelength capacity, distance, and efficiency. Together CDC-F and Super Coherent technologies have transformed the rigid optical networks into more efficient, agile and flexible networks, which are capable of supporting SDN and NFV-based services delivery platform.

There is little doubt that these technological advancements have transformed the very nature of optical networks making them suitable to meet the demands of a hyperconnected world, but there are still challenges, which prevent service providers to maximize benefits from Wave Services.

Today service providers struggle with different terminologies associated with Wave Services. Standardization is crucial to help subscribers and service providers to order services after thorough comparison so that they can define the basic Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

The complications further increase when Wave Service deployments must span multiple service provider networks. The current agreements are ad hoc in nature and are difficult to manage. Standardization will help in the use of standardized APIs across single or multiple operator network domains.

New advancement toward standardization

MEF Forum has launched programs to accelerate the transition of the industry from just primary connectivity providers to one that can connect people and devices in real-time, on-demand and with an assured quality of experience. The removal of barriers to on-demand Wave Services connectivity requires a software based on standardization work relative to network resources and service data modeling, business process flows, interface profiles, and API definitions. This standardization work must address end-to-end logistics involved in supporting business interactions between the service provider and its partner network operators while also supporting end-to-end service assurance.

Nokia-initiated MEF Layer 1 Connectivity Services (L1CS) project is necessary to automate end-to-end service delivery to support more agile, flexible and assured service delivery platform. The MEF L1CS project aims to establish standard criteria, and features, which can be used to define Wave Services, delivered over one or multiple interconnected networks.

Wave Service network interface device

Service providers will need to deploy new Wave Service demarcation device capabilities that help them to support SLA requirements as well as to separate their network domain from that of their end customers. A Wave Service demarcation Network Interface Device (NID) also facilitates rapid service activation, which is a fundamental requirement to support a high number of customer endpoints.

As a responsible industry player, Nokia wants to maximize the benefits of Wave Services for operators. And it understands standardization of Wave Services is essential for supporting a user-controlled, on-demand, SDN-orchestrated network services delivery platform. Accordingly, the Nokia-initiated MEF L1CS project aims to advance Wave Services delivery and allow these services to be quickly combined with other capabilities to support new offers. Nokia is also readying its optical networking portfolio to support MEF-compliant Wave Services once the MEF L1CS project has finalized standardizing these services.

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