Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Polatis optical switches selected for UK NDFIS

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Polatis, the performance leader in all-optical matrix switches, has been selected as the provider of optical switching for Aurora2, a new UK National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Service (NDFIS).

Aurora2 is a next-generation dark fibre network that provides direct access at the optical layer to users developing new technologies and services for future applications of the Internet.

The network is funded by UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), through the Joint Academic Network, Janet. Aurora 2 is managed by a consortium led by University College London (UCL) with the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Southampton.

"Future Internet applications will require a scalable and dynamically reconfigurable optical network.  Aurora2 provides an advanced software-defined optical network for the UK to pioneer new techniques for ultra-high capacity optical communications," said Nick Parsons, CTO at Polatis. "We are honoured and excited to be selected for this key initiative."

Eleven Polatis DirectLight optical switches will be deployed at nodes across the 800km Aurora2 network to enable researchers to reconfigure the infrastructure on demand via a software defined network (SDN) control plane, enabling unprecedented dynamic control of resources.

Dark fibre gives users direct end to end access at the optical level to the entire multi-terahertz bandwidth of single mode optical fibre with no intermediate optical-electrical conversions that could restrict performance.  The ultimate transmission capacity is limited only by the physical properties of the fibre.

Polatis DirectLight all-optical circuit switches are the first to support SDN through an embedded OpenFlow agent, together with plug-in support for the OpenDaylight SDN controller, developed in collaboration with the University of Bristol High Performance Networks Group.

The patented Directlight optical circuit switch technology uniquely enables dark fibre pre-provisioning because it does not require light to establish a connection and can switch optical traffic with typical loss of less than 1dB regardless of colour, protocol, direction or line rate.

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