OneConnect intelligent control plane

Unprecedented automation and resiliency across the entire network.

In today’s telecom networking world, end-users require very specific services from the service provider to keep pace with a continuous and growing array of new mobile communication devices able to deliver some very unique applications.

With this in mind, network providers need more control over their network—allowing them the freedom to make changes to bandwidth profiles based on specific demand or offer levels of service that meet end-user requirements. Additionally, they want a network that can rapidly adapt to problems, outages, maintenance issues and other changes that might adversely affect network performance and reliability.

Ciena, a recognized control plane expert, has now extended its control plane technology out from the core into the metro, access, and long-haul subsea networks, and into the photonic domain as well. Leveraging more than 14 years of tried-and-tested, globally deployed experience, OneConnect works in conjunction with Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System and One Planner Unified Design Tool to provide unmatched value to global network providers.

OneConnect’s extension across domains amplifies the value of cross-domain service deployment velocity, network survivability and cost savings. Ciena has delivered proven economic benefits and unmatched scalability and reliability for the world’s largest service providers. OneConnect is available on the 5400, 6500 and CoreDirector FS product families.

Ciena’s OneConnect is deployed in large (1,000+ node) networks with field-measured, unprecedented six-9s (99.9999%) reliability. OneConnect substantially lowers network OPEX with auto-discovery, low-touch service creation, and zero-touch restoration; and CAPEX by leveraging automatic photonic protection in conjunction with OTN restoration to survive multiple failures with less-deployed equipment. Differentiated SLAs can be offered with latency-aware optimization for time-critical financial applications, lower MTTR for unprotected services, and protected wavelength services at new economics.

Service providers can now offer exciting and new virtualized services that meet the same performance and privacy standards of a private optical build—but with new economics. Optical Virtual Private Networks (O-VPNs) enhance the flexibility and dynamic nature of the network and make it easier for service providers to offer just-in-time services such as event-driven broadcast and cloud applications.

Reducing CAPEX and OPEX, automating network operations for increased survivability and accelerated service turn-up, and broadening the network operator’s service and application scope are key elements in Ciena’s vision and strategy for transforming the network into a dynamic, intelligent and revenue-generating asset.

Fastest at scale

This term refers to unrestrained restoration: the ability to restore any service, anytime and anywhere in the network. But because the restoration is automated, it also refers to a self-healing network that can withstand multiple simultaneous failures across the network and restore them in 50 milliseconds or less. This is critical in countries where networks commonly experience 25 or 30 cuts and failures a day. Restoration paths are continually discovered and services are rolled over automatically—failure after failure—to ensure constant network survivability. Through the collaboration between control plane layers, service providers can offer resilient networks that can automatically survive multiple failures at new and improved economics.

The ‘at scale’ also refers to OneConnect’s ability to allow service providers to decouple their SLA criteria from network size limitations. Rather, performance is optimized and consistent regardless of scale. Ciena’s OneConnect has been deployed in some of the largest mesh networks in the world, making Ciena the leader in providing fast and efficient network restoration schemes, lowering service restoration from months to hours and minutes.

Many of our customers deploy Ciena’s OneConnect-powered networks. Here are some of the most recent deployments:

Precision control

Although automation is a vitally important aspect for speed and reliability, Ciena’s OneConnect includes many options that can be fine-tuned to meet the specific network and service demand. Precision control refers to the network’s ability to respond exactly the way the service provider expects based on their unique operational model. It provides constant feedback loops and visualization from OneControl so that NOC personnel are comfortable with how the network is behaving.

Traditionally, operators have been reluctant to release complete control to a ‘black box’, but with OneConnect they can know the exact parameters of any service at any time across any network domain. Based on experience with global operators, Ciena has augmented OneConnect to provide the “precision” aspect that allows more ways to tune the network to ensure it deterministically responds as service providers expect. Additionally, since there are many ways to fine tune the network, service providers can create next-gen services that set them apart from their competitors.

Latency-aware routing can be tuned into the network, as well as ensuring proper protect paths for Shared Risk Link Groups (SRLGs) through predictive failure analysis and accurate planning. Additionally, cost-optimized network survivability options can be deployed. Service providers can also set up secure Web portals and provide access to end-customers for service monitoring that might be required for meeting strict SLAs and bandwidth-on-demand requests.

New virtualization

This refers to OneConnect’s ability to offer private services through a shared switched infrastructure. This agile operational model has the ability to leverage existing infrastructure through automated provisioning to quickly and efficiently offer new services. This works particularly well for providers with SONET/SDH that must evolve their networks to OTN. A network can run SONET/SDH, OTN, and Photonic control planes simultaneously, not just to support legacy services, but also to accommodate interoperability between the layers to support network troubleshooting and restoration.

Other advantages include seamless end-to-end visibility and control, lower cost network evolution with flawless migration of services, and shared bandwidth potential for dynamic bandwidth-on-demand services from the cloud. OneConnect also provides enhanced flexibility for network segmentation to allow slices of the network for private secure O-VPNs. Now, service providers can “virtually” partition their networks by allowing specific links, wavelengths, sub-wavelengths, or even nodes to be dedicated for use by a single customer (such as enterprise), while providing all the bandwidth, manageability, and security required without the extraordinary expense and inflexibility of building a completely dedicated service infrastructure.

O-VPNs provide a secure, high-bandwidth private network that connects end-user sites with a flexible, managed virtual infrastructure over fractional, single, or multiple transparent optical wavelength connections with a wide variety of client interfaces, including Ethernet, OTN, SONET/SDH, Storage Area Network (SAN), and video