Introduction

The motivation and key objective behind IDEALIST is to research in detail the most promising technology to meet the demands of the next generation optical transport network – a technology that will provide a means to carry a wide range of signal bandwidths, each of which will be varying in real time in direction and magnitude, and some of which will be extremely large and possibly reaching 1 Tbps.
IDEALIST proposes an elastic optical network architecture, based on the combination of new technologies such as BVT and flexgrid transmission (i.e BVT) and switching technologies, capable of fulfilling the requirements in terms of capacity and dynamicity of future core networks. The intention is that the elastic optical network proposed and developed in IDEALIST will be easily standardised and industrialised.  Although some key components needed to build elastic optical networks such as BVT and flexgrid switching matrixes are already available, there still exist various open challenging issues to be addressed by IDEALIST in order to achieve the industrial exploitation of elastic optical networks. According to it, the network architecture proposed by IDEALIST is based on four key elements that are still missing:

  • Data plane: Node architectures and transport systems enabling flexible adaptation on transmission conditions in the network and switching concepts beyond 100 Gbps per channel.
  • Control plane: Control plane extensions for multivendor elastic networks including multidomain and multilayer aspects.
  • Network and service interworking: Dynamic network resources allocation at both IP and elastic optical layers according to traffic patterns behaviour.
  • Network architecture design: Multilayer network optimization tools enabling both off-line planning and on-line re-optimization in elastic optical networks.