Service providers are increasingly transitioning their network architectures to packet,
driven by attractive packet device economics and a dramatic rise in packet traffic.
(According to Cisco, bandwidth will exceed 15 exabytes per month
by 2011 and pass 30 exabytes per month by 2013 .)
But that transition still has to recognize the large investments made in legacy infrastructure.
The result is that real world networks contain a wide range of technologies.
The network core contains long-haul WDM/DWDM equipment and separate optical crossconnect elements
for switching. These interface with core routers that handle the IP layer.
Metro networks are populated with a mix of WDM, multiservice SONET/SDH and Ethernet equipment.
Given that diversity, service providers are deploying hybrid packet-optical devices
to facilitate an incremental migration to a scalable packet-based infrastructure
augmented by optical. (Heavy Reading expects that by 2014, core packet-optical revenue
will reach $1.66 billion worldwide .)
In doing so, they can reduce the number of distinct network element types – to give
very significant reductions in operating and management expenses.
For example, 86 percent of service providers expect packet-optical networks
to save operational expenditures, of which more than two-thirds expect savings of at least
11 percent to over 50 percent .
In these evolving packet-optical networks, the MPLS protocol plays a large role. For example
Metaswitch has vast experience in supplying MPLS and IP Routing protocol software products
to communications equipment manufacturers, enabling them to build edge, metro and
core packet-optical devices.
Features and Benefits
The Metaswitch solution for manufacturers of packet-optical devices offers the following
features and benefits.
- Portable, scalable implementations of the MPLS and IP Routing standards –
easily ported to packet-optical devices
- Rich support for pseudowires, layer 2 and layer 3 VPNs, and Traffic Engineering
- GMPLS support for SONET/SDH, WDM/DWDM and G.709 OTN
- Pre-standard MPLS-TP technology already supplied and deployed
- Both static (managed) and dynamic (signaled) LSPs
- Full protection switching and fast restoration – delivering resilience
within the network
- Built-in high availability and software upgrade – delivering resilience
within a network element
- Engineering of the very highest quality.
The Metaswitch solution for manufacturers of packet-optical devices is based on the following
- DC-MPLS – including DC-RSVP
- DC-IP Routing – including one or more of
- DC-MPLS and DC-IP Routing protocol support for (among others)
layer 2 and
layer 3 VPNs, traffic engineering,
end-to-end protection switching and fast restoration
- MPLS-TP extensions to DC-MPLS
(DC-RSVP and DC-LDP)
- DC-MPLS support for G.709 OTN
- OAM extensions, as currently being developed in the standards bodies
- Metaswitch's Integrated Control Plane,
which can be used to implement a MPLS/GMPLS and IP Routing control plane on a huge range
of network equipment
- High Availability Framework (HAF),
Metaswitch's architecture for delivering fault tolerance and reduced downtime
across the range of network protocols
- N-BASE, Metaswitch's portable operating environment
for network software products
- Metaswitch professional services,
support directly from the
Metaswitch engineering organization.
 "Global Consumer Internet Traffic Forecast",
Cisco, October 2009
 "The Core Packet-Optical Transport Evolution",
Heavy Reading, December 2009
 "Packet Optical Transport and 40G Represent Big Opportunity",
Infonetics Research, October 2008
 Note that the MPLS-TP data plane is packet oriented,
so that where MPLS-TP runs over non-packet sections of the network it utilizes an adaptation layer
(such as packet-over-WDM).