The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

Los Angeles Convention Center,
Los Angeles, California, USA

SC448 - An Introduction to the Management and Control of Optical Networks

Monday, 20 March
13:30 - 16:30

Short Course Level: Beginner and Advanced Beginner

Instructor: Ramon Casellas; CTTC, Spain

Short Course Description:

This is an introductory course to control plane (CP) functional and protocol architectures. The course will cover the main drivers, uses, key benefits and current trends around the concept of a control plane, focusing, notably, on transport networks and covering the access, aggregation and core network segments.

The first part of the course will describe the main CP functions, such as resource discovery, topology and connection management, routing, and signaling, etc. as well as the basic distributed and centralized CP architectures, addressing both functional aspects (related to entities, elements and interfaces) as well as protocol ones (stacks, encodings, formats). Both the mature GMPLS/PCE CP architecture and associated protocols, as well as the relatively newer SDN-based approach will be analyzed in detail and macroscopically compared.

The next part of the course will concentrate on describing more complex use case scenarios, related to the applicability of the control plane to multi-domain and multi-layer networks. Architectures based on either hierarchical or peer models will be examined, highlighting issues such as scalability, topology visibility or confidentiality, and covering the concepts and roles of abstraction and orchestration.

Finally, driven by the need to offer services beyond network connectivity provisioning, the course will end up discussing the current and new trends in control plane design, providing and overview of network virtualization, network slicing and the ongoing integration of SDN and NFV, and the benefits of orchestrating heterogeneous systems, illustrated by notable use cases and requirements such as the interconnection of data centers or the end-to-end orchestration of network segments.

Short Course Benefits:

This course will enable you to:

  • Define and describe the basic concept(s) of a control plane and its associated functions, such as resource discovery, topology management, path computation, signaling, and routing.

  • Identify the objectives & key benefits and of a control plane, ranging from the well-known dynamicity, reduction of  operational expenses, automation of QoS provisioning and recovery, etc., to newer drivers such as modularity, extensibility and programmability.

  • Describe common achitectures, including centralized, distributed and hybrid approaches. Describe their applicability in multi-layer and multi-domain networks by composing into hierarchical and peer models. Compare the main advantages and drawbacks of each architecture.

  • Detail existing control plane architectures and protocols, ranging from ASON/GMPLS,  PCE, to SDN and ONF OpenFlow.

  • Recognize and discuss control plane open issues, missing research and standardization gaps such as common information and data models  and highlight the role of de jure and de facto standards as well as OpenSource projects.

  • Get an insight into new trends including the orchestration of network and IT (computing & storage) resources, and of heterogeneous systems and domains (technological, administrative or network segments)

  • Explore the basics and the role of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and its relationship with SDN.

Short Course Audience:

This beginner & advanced-beginner course is intended for a diverse audience, including network researchers, architects and engineers, willing to understand the basic concepts, benefits, architectures and protocols behind the notion of control plane, along with its applicability to both single- and multi- domain/layer networks. The course assumes a basic knowledge of networking (e.g. basic IP networking, concepts of packet switching & circuit switching). Some basic knowledge of network control architectures and protocols will help in better understanding the course but is not a prerequisite. The course will also address new trends in both research and product development, such as the integration of SDN / NFV and orchestration of heterogeneous systems.

Instructor Biography:

Ramon Casellas graduated in telecommunications (1999) both from the UPC (Barcelona) and ENST (Paris). He was an undergraduate researcher at FT R&D and BT Labs, completed a Ph.D. in 2002, and worked as an associate professor (ENST) until joining the CTTC in 2006. He is a senior research associate, involved in R&D and technology transfer projects. His research interests include network control architectures and protocols, GMPLS/PCE and SDN/NFV. He has co-authored more than 150 papers and contributes to the IETF PCE, TEAS and CCAMP working groups.

Sponsored by: