Once again, we’re pleased to announce an open standards compliance for Ciena’s Navigator Network Control Suite (formerly known as MCP). Our software has been awarded the Bronze Badge for compliance to TIP OOPT MUST Optical SDN Controller SBI requirements. Ciena’s Marie Fiala explains how this reflects Ciena’s commitment to openness, to facilitate multi-vendor interoperability in our customers’ networks.

Last year, Ciena announced our compliance to Telecom Infra Project (TIP)’s Optical SDN Controller NBI requirements. We’ve continued our collaboration with TIP’s Open Optical & Packet Transport group (OOPT) to ensure compliance of our open SDN interfaces against the Mandatory Use Case Requirements for SDN for Transport (MUST), as defined by the OOPT MUST sub-group led by Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica, MTN, Telia Company, and Deutsche Telekom. We’re now pleased to announce that Ciena’s Navigator Network Control Suite (Navigator NCS) has also been awarded TIP’s Bronze Badge for compliance to OOPT MUST Optical / O-OLS SDN Controller SBI requirements. Both badges are recognized in the Navigator NCS (formerly known as MCP) listing on the TIP Exchange, where service providers can easily search for products that comply to standardized requirements.

The importance of multi-vendor interoperability

More than ever, service providers are looking for best-of-breed components when evolving and scaling their networks for ever-growing connectivity demands. However, re-integration of disaggregated components is no small feat, if there is no common baseline for interoperability. That’s what makes standardization efforts so valuable for the industry – it helps to reduce the time and effort required to integrate multi-vendor components into a holistic, optimally functioning network.

“We are encouraged by the participation of vendors, such as Ciena, to work on meeting the technical requirements set forth by the TIP community for open interfaces. This helps advance TIP’s goal of enabling open, disaggregated and standards-based solutions to the benefit of all players in the industry – operators, vendors, and end-users”, said Arturo Mayoral López de Lerma, Technical Program Manager for the OOPT Project Group at TIP.

In the TIP MUST architecture, the SDN controller is required to manage and control third-party Open-Optical Terminals (O-OT) using NETCONF and gNMI interfaces with OpenConfig data models, and also manage an Open-Optical Line System (O-OLS) within a single domain.

TIP MUST SDN architecture for Open Optical Networks

Figure 1: TIP MUST SDN architecture for Open Optical Networks (Reference: TIP OOPT MUST Optical Whitepaper)

Multi-layer network control is the desired destination

In addition to Ciena’s involvement with TIP for optical network control, Ciena’s Navigator NCS has recently participated in multi-vendor MPLS SDN interoperability testing at EANTC, to test out its southbound interfaces to third-party routers. Stay tuned for the release of the official results at the MPLS SD & AI Net World Congress April 9-11, and drop by our Ciena booth to see Navigator NCS in action!

Our interoperability activity is significant on two fronts. Firstly, it underscores Ciena’s commitment to openness. And secondly, it showcases Navigator NCS’ capabilities as a multi-layer controller for converged IP/Optical networks where a single point of control is required for comprehensive visibility of network state and performance. In a world where convergence is the name of the game, it follows to apply that logic also at the SDN control layer. Navigator NCS makes it easier to get there.