This paper proposes a novel polymorphic framework for optical networking and a seamless evolution path from optical circuit-switched towards optical packet-switched networks. We show that by simultaneously supporting several optical switching paradigms in a single physical topology, efficient and flexible optical networks can be built. The supported paradigms are associated with different Classes of Service (CoS) in order to provide service differentiation at the optical layer. Two polymorphic architectures are presented, one based on optical circuit switching paradigms with different grades of dynamism, and a second one based on optical labeled burst-switched networks with the added capability of dynamic lightpath provisioning. These architectures provide a seamless evolution path towards an efficient IP-over-WDM approach with service differentiation. Moreover, the proposed polymorphic architectures are fully compatible with the GMPLS unified control plane. We present in a detailed form the proposed polymorphic framework, including the selection of switching paradigms, its support for CoS, the network and control architecture, and a possible seamless evolution towards optical packet-switched networks. Possible implementation examples of optical network nodes that support the proposed polymorphic architectures are also presented.
|Number of pages
|Photonic Network Communications
|Published - 2004