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ONF and TIP Collaborating on Open Optical Transport Solutions

Mar 28, 2019
Andrea Campanella
Andrea Campanella About the author

ONF’s ODTN and TIP’s OOPT projects find synergies in working together

ONF is excited to announce a collaboration between our Open Disaggregated Transport Network(ODTN) project and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP’s)­­­­ Open Optical & Packet Transport(OOPT) group.

The ODTN project and the OOPT group are working to increase openness, SDN programmability, and disaggregation in optical transport networks. Both are leveraging open software and hardware, common APIs and community collaboration. Additionally, both aim to bring value to service providers by enabling fast introduction of new optical services while expanding choice and lowering CAPEX and OPEX.  And through open APIs and device disaggregation, OOPT and ODTN both strive to avoid vendor lock-in by allowing for mix and match of equipment from different vendors.

While both projects started with a common vision, each focused its approach based on leveraging its existing expertise. ONF (ODTN) pursued a software-centric approach and TIP (OOPT) an open hardware agenda.  These approaches are naturally synergistic, and we’re excited to now be collaborating so we can each benefit from the other’s terrific work and base of expertise.

ONF (ODTN) will continue to focus on the control plane with the development of an Open Source SDN controller (ONOS) and standardization of open APIs such as Transport API (TAPI). ONF has also developed the definition of the end-to-end Data Center interconnect (DCI) use-case according to ONF’s service provider needs through its ODTN Reference Design process. More information on ODTN can be found here: https://opennetworking.org/odtn.

In parallel, TIP (OOPT) members have introduced two white box transponder systems, Voyager and Cassini, based on open designs.  They have also developed TAI, the Transponder Abstraction Interface, and the GNPy open source optical planning tool. More information can be found here: https://oopt.telecominfraproject.com

Working together, we can build on synergies to deliver greater impact while avoiding duplication of effort. The collaboration will enable the two groups to leverage each other's expertise and resources to achieve more rapid results.  By working together, the two projects can together build a broader shared community and deliver results on an accelerated timeline.

The first results of this collaboration are already available. An initial demo of ONOS managing Cassini packet optical transponders highlights the power of this collaboration. And more recently, the demo was enhanced for OFC 2019 to add wavelength control. This incremental approach of rapid feature enhancement drives immediate results and brings the best of agile style development to the optical domain.

In this demo, ONOS® controls both the client side and the optical line cards of a Cassini system with TAI. OcNOS from IP Infusion is used as the Network Operating System (NOS) on the Cassini boxes. ONOS uses TAPI and OpenConfig to control, manage, and provision the network elements.

Moving forward, the two groups are looking at integrating other elements such as GNPy for optical route planning and optimization. GNPy can learn network details from ONOS and in return request network adjustments based on optical impairments computations.  The collaboration will also incorporate other optical components such as ROADMs and Open Line Systems as well as new devices and API specifications, always striving to use open source software and Open APIs.

This is an open community, and we encourage participation.  We welcome individual developers as well as companies or service providers interested in optical disaggregation and open source solutions to join our efforts. For more information, visit:


OTC&C Project (home of TAPI)

TIP announcement on the collaboration with ONF

We are off to a strong start, and looking forward to more to come,
Andrea Campanella, ODTN Lead Architect
Member Technical Staff, ONF

About TIP
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a collaborative telecom community. Launched in February 2016, TIP was started with the goal of accelerating the pace of innovation in the telecom industry.
Details at https://telecominfraproject.com/

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Andrea Campanella
Andrea CampanellaMember of Technical Staff
Andrea joined ONF in October 2015 as a Research Scholar Intern. Andrea received a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Communication and is majoring in Computer Science at the Public University of Milan, Italy, with a focus in computer networks and SDN technology. At ONF, Andrea is on the ONOS core development team focusing on southbound architecture, protocol integration and driver subsystems. Andrea is also part of the A-Team: the ambassador program steering team and is active in shaping the ONOS community. In his free time Andrea enjoys photography, hiking, sailing, biking, and playing basketball.