• Technical Conference:  30 March – 03 April 2025
  • Exhibition: 01 – 03 April 2025
  • Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA

SC448 - Evolving Software Defined Optical Network: Architecture and Design Principles

Monday, 25 March
08:30 - 12:30 (Pacific Time (US & Canada), UTC - 08:00)

Short Course Level: Beginner


Ramon Casellas, Ph.D., IEEE SM; OSA M, CTTC, Spain

Short Course Description:

This is an advanced-beginner course to Software Defined Networking (SDN) for optical networks. The course will cover the main drivers, uses, key benefits, most recent trends and underlying technologies focusing, notably, on transport networks and covering mainly the aggregation and core network segments.


The first part of the course will describe the main SDN concepts and functions, starting with common  architectures, addressing both functional aspects (elements and interfaces) as well as protocol ones (stacks, encodings, formats) while presenting how common control plane functions -- resource discovery, inventory, topology, and connection management – are implemented. The course will present trends such as the use of Model Driven development, YANG as a unified data modeling language and of the NETCONF, RESTCONF or gRPC/HTTP protocols. Existing open-source projects (e.g., ONOS), initiatives (ONF TAPI, OpenROADM, OpenConfig) and tools / frameworks (e.g., pyang) will be introduced by means of examples.


Due to its increasing importance, dedicated parts will detail optical monitoring and streaming telemetry, including architectures for large scale solutions, as well as ongoing approaches to account for physical impairments and the integration with external planning tools.

The final part of the course will concentrate on describing more complex use case scenarios, related to the applicability to multi-domain and multi-layer networks, 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 such as virtualization, network slicing and the ongoing integration of SDN and NFV.


Control Plane, SDN, Model-Driven development, Optical Monitoring and streaming telemetry, OpenConfig, OpenROADM, Open Source SDN, NFV, network orchestration.

Short Course Benefits:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the objectives & key benefits and of a SDN control plane.
  • Define and describe the architecure and principles around SDN based on a model-driven development and its associated functions, such as resource discovery, topology management, path computation, or connection provisoning.
  • Understand the challenges and current approaches for applicability in multi-layer and multi-domain networks. Compare the main advantages and drawbacks of each architecture.
  • Detail existing control plane SDN architectures and related protocol frameworks and languages. Introduce common frameworks and data models such as OpenConfig or OpenROADM for the control of Open Line Systems or Transport API (T-API) as a controller North Bound Interface
  • Understand the increasing importante of optical monitoring and telementry, enabling the application of ML for network operations, and physical impairments in "beyond 100G networks"
  • 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. Introduce the concepts of network virtualization and network slicing.
Short Course Audience:

This advanced-beginner course is intended for a diverse audience, including network researchers, architects and engineers, willing to understand the concepts, benefits, architectures, protocolsand evolution of a SDN for optical networks, 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.

Instructor Biography:

Ramon Casellas (IEEE Senior Member and OSA Member) obtained his Telecommunications degree in 1999 (UPC Barcelona and ENST Paris) and his Ph.D degree in 2002. After working as an associate professor at ENST, he joined the CTTC Optical Networking area in 2006. His research interests include network control architectures and protocols, GMPLS/PCE and SDN/NFV. He has co-authored more than 5 book chapters, 200 papers and contributes to the IETF PCE, TEAS and CCAMP working groups. He has been a member of OFC TPC in subcommitees N2 and N3 (2017-2020) and N-Track Program Chair (2021), OFC Short Course instructor (2017-2021), IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking Associate Editor and an ONF ONOS/ODTN contributor.