Voyager Field Trial Demonstrates Increased Service Capacity on Optical Networks using NetOS®

Introduction

In a global first, a successful trial of the Facebook-designed open source Voyager device has been completed on a live optical network in Spain. Zeetta Networks worked alongside three Telecom Infra Project (TIP) members, ADVA, Cumulus, and Vodafone, and the project has helped to put a spotlight on significant opportunities for innovation, disaggregation and simplification of optical transport networks.

The Voyager device increased metro and long-haul fiber optic transport optical network capacity from 10 Gbps to 800 Gbps without affecting existing services, proving cost-effective technical means to upgrade capacity of optical networks around the world.

Zeetta Networks’ NetOS® technology enabled multi-device control for the network transforming operation and configuration of dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) based transport backhaul networks. Read on for more details…

The challenge

Although optical cables have a very high data capacity, they are often limited by their physical infrastructure and are expensive. A critical requirement for businesses with these challenges is how to support longer distance spans at higher bandwidths over a small amount of fibre pairs. As global requirements for data bandwidth and reliability increases, this will eventually become an infrastructure issue that could be solved using software management, rather than low efficiency hardware upgrades.

The opportunity

Manufactured by ADVA with a Cumulus operating system, Voyager is an excellent example of a disaggregated optical platform. Combined with Zeetta Networks’ unique NetOS® software-defined network controller, the overall solution enables dynamic provisioning and monitoring of the entire network. Changes to wavelengths, frequencies, and modulation can then be made to take full advantage of the network, optimising service delivery. A trial in Spain was proposed and agreed between the collaborating companies.

The results

Voyager is an open transponder device and is the implementation of a Telecom Infra Project (TIP) reference design, consisting of a 1U platform that supports 1200 Gbps Ethernet, 800 Gbps optical, and runs the industry proven Cumulus operating system. This field trial showcased how the open transponder Voyager can be used to dynamically increase the capacity of a production optical network from 10 Gbps to 800 Gbps.

Voyager Project lead Nathan Sowatskey, VP of Engineering at Zeetta Networks, said:

“We have, with Vodafone, ADVA, and Cumulus, created a solution that demonstrates the capacity of the Voyager device to significantly increase service capacity on optical networks, cheaply and securely, to greatly increase efficiencies. This will create an upgraded infrastructure with a software controller to dynamically deliver secure and reliable bandwidth to individuals, companies, and cities around the world, enabling the next evolution of 5G connectivity.”

Its field trial demonstrated how capacity for optical networks around the world can be greatly increased with cost-effective disaggregated devices. By introducing additional optical capacity through an alien wavelength into the DWDM system, the team has created a solution, based on a device with a highly compact form factor, to deliver capacities beyond expectations.

The next advancement will be to integrate slicing into the optical network, and Zeetta Networks continues to partner with the University of Bristol’s High Performance Networks Group to further serve the international telecommunications industry.

The partners

Zeetta Networks led the TIP members involved in the Voyager project, and while the collaborative companies provided the technical solutions, it was the open partnership that enabled the solution. ADVA, Cumulus, the University of Bristol, and Vodafone were all instrumental to the collaboration which ensured the success of the Voyager project.