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Disaggregation of the Optical Transport Network

Oct 3, 2019
Timon Sloane
Timon Sloane About the author



The mission of the Open Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) project at ONF is to accelerate innovation, reduce cost and increase vendor choice by unlocking the closed optical transport network and enabling a white-box ecosystem.

By disaggregating vendor proprietary network controllers, this project aims to deliver an open source platform with open APIs to allow multiple components to be combined into complete solutions. ODTN leverages the ONOS SDN controller and open APIs like TAPI and OpenConfig to achieve a truly vendor-neutral solution.

Operators like NTT and Telefonica are actively participating in this effort to jump-start a new wave of multi-vendor innovation and interoperability. Additionally, the OOPT group at the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has collaborated with ONF on an open optical transport solution with the introduction of Voyager and Cassini, two white box transponder systems. 

The recently-held Connect 2019 highlighted ONF’s ongoing efforts in this space, including a demo of ONOS managing different packet optical transponders from EdgeCore, Nokia, Infinera, Fujitsu and ZTE over a variety of line systems, such as Lumentum ROADMs and ADVA OLS. In this demo, ODTN enabled end-to-end orchestration with the ONOS SDN controller to control, manage, and provision optical network elements through open source models. You can check out the demo here:


For an overview of the ODTN project including updates on the OLS integration and extensions for ROADMS, see the video below:


The ODTN track at ONF Connect’19 featured expert talks that addressed a variety of topics from the advancements in TAPI for orchestrating multi-layer connectivity service, to use cases enabled by the ODTN project and the development of an open optical line system with SDN ROADMs.

Click to view the complete list of talks from the ODTN track.

Advancements in ONF Transport API

Enabling an Open and Disaggregated Transport Network

Opening Up ROADMs

For the latest innovations enabling real-world, multi-vendor optical networks, see the ONF booth demonstration at the recent TIP Summit 2019 featuring the integration of ONOS with GNPy optical simulation software for optical route planning and optimization.

The optical network is a remaining bastion of proprietary vertically integrated systems. ONF is partnering with the operator community and the open hardware ecosystem to address this by leveraging disaggregation and open source to bring interoperability and SDN programmability to optical networks. We encourage and welcome participation from individual developers and companies interested in joining us in this exciting journey. For more information, check out the ODTN wiki and subscribe to our mailing list. 

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Timon SloaneVP, Marketing & Ecosystem
Timon Sloane is the vice president of marketing and ecosystem of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). He leads the organization’s efforts building an open source ecosystem, thus helping to enable broad transformation of the networking industry through the adoption open source business practices.