Current optical networks are generally composed of multi-service optical switches, which enable forwarding of data at multiple levels. Huge flows at the packet-level (IP-level) may be moved to the optical-level, which is faster than the packet-level. Such move could be beneficial since congested IP networks could be off-loaded, leaving more resources for other IP flows. At the same time, the flows switched at the optical-level would receive better Quality of Service (QoS). The transfer of those flows to the optical-level requires the creation of dedicated light paths to carry them. Currently, two approaches are used for that purpose: the first is based on conventional management techniques and the second is based on GMPLS signalling. In both approaches, the decision which IP flows will be moved to light paths is taken by managers. Therefore, only IP flows explicitly selected by such managers will take advantage of being transferred over light path connections. However, it may be that there are also other large IP flows, not known to the manager, that could potentially profit from being moved to the optical-level. The idea proposed in this paper is therefore to add self-management capabilities to the multi-service optical switches and make them responsible for identifying which IP flows should be moved to the optical level and establish and release light path connections for such flows.
|Publisher||Institut für Kommunikationsnetze und Rechnersysteme, Universität Stuttgart|