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Open Source Optical (OSO) effort launches, touts OpenFlow compatibility

11/03/2014 by


Networking resource management firm Vello systems on Monday  took the wraps off the Open Source Optical (OSO) Forum, a group geared towards developing open source optical networking standards to complement Ethernet-based SDN standards.

The initial charter members of OSO include optical solutions vendors, software and hardware companies including Vello, Accelink, CoAdna, CrossFiber, O-Net, PacketLight and Pacnet, with more companies and organisations expected to be announce their involvement “over the coming weeks”

“Customers are calling for more flexibility and new tools to realize their IT delivery solutions.  Vello’s goal has been to unify standard software with vendor-agnostic merchant hardware to ease adoption by users,” said Karl May, chief executive officer of Vello Systems.

“One major goal with OSO is to decouple the hardware and software innovation cycles and give vendors in both categories greater freedom to innovate,” May said.

“We want to extend the open networking revolution to optical systems,” he added.

The organisation said that much like OpenFlow and the software defined networking standards around Ethernet-based networking, as technologies like silicon photonics beginning to take hold in datacentres to address massive growth in internet traffic, standards around optical networking are becoming increasingly important.

According to the organisation OSO software will include the optical extensions that are part of the latest version of OpenFlow, which means OSO-based systems can be deployed and configured directly alongside OpenFlow-based Ethernet switches within a single management pane.

Ron Kline, principal analyst, network infrastructure at research and analysis firm Ovum explained that the convergence of IT and telecoms is having a profound impact on the optical transport layer.

“Rapid advances in SDN/NFV software technology are creating new opportunities for companies to collaborate and solve networking problems that were unimaginable only a few years ago,” he said, adding that much like SDN and NVF, open source optical standards have the potential to disrupt the networking market further enabling white-box approaches to linking up racks in datacentres.

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