Michaelis, Thomas (Nokia Siemens Networks GmbH & Co. KG, Munich, Germany)
The basic transport service provider business is about the provision of connectivity, a commodity facing cost pressure due to little potential for differentiation. Concepts like on-demand provisioning, inter-domain provisioning or provisioning of whole topologies (virtual networks) have the ability to improve competitive positioning, but as the number of concurrent users of a network infrastructure increases this will also cause significant demand fluctuations. As a result, future optical networks will ultimately have to deal with frequent reconfiguration of transport tunnels on different levels of granularity. An operational concept is proposed which is centered around the Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) Control Plane approach and solves both fluctuation and differentiation issues. It is shown that embracing the existing Control Plane standards as much as possible provides a smooth evolution path from network automation to network virtualization.