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multiple 100G or greater optical links. Tese same ROADM-based optical express and

wavelength switching capabilities also lower power consumption by keeping signals optical for as long as possible, reducing the number of interfaces required from DWDM transport systems, but also of interconnected routers. ROADMs can balance signal power levels more accurately than manual balancing and provide better overall optical performance in the network resulting in lower power consumption. In terms of resiliency, ROADMs enable resilient,

high-bandwidth networks to be built that can use existing interfaces for protection. In a mesh-type DCI or EDCI architectures, ROADMs with the addition of control plane capabilities enabled through SDN or GMPLS, support rerouting of the optical wavelengths when a failure occurs. In many cases, this type of resiliency does not require costly dedicated redundant interfaces and also lowers power consumption by leveraging existing interfaces as much as possible. ROADMs are also important for data centre

transport applications in terms of enabling a flexible and programmable network. By eliminating manual intervention and dramatically simplifying

network engineering, ROADMs can accelerate service activation times by as much as 80 per cent. Ultimately when coupled with SDN control, the transport network can be adjusted as required for calendaring, data centre backups, maintenance and ultimately to support applications like bandwidth on demand. Summarising the value of ROADMs in terms of DCI and EDCI transport applications, ROADMs

add value in the following ways: l

DCI – lowers power consumption, better resiliency, more manageable, easier to change, as mesh size increases and ultimately for tying the flexibility and programmability of the network to the flexibility and programmability of the data centres. Today broadcast and select ROADMs are employed in small DCI networks and in the future, with the growth of 100G and beyond wavelength interconnect, CDC ROADMs will be deployed.


EDCI – lowers cost of large access and aggregation networks to connect many end users to cloud data centres directly or through the Internet. ROADM deployments for EDCI applications have primarily been broadcast-and- select ROADMs.


@fibresystemsmag |

Combined DCI and EDCI – there are cases where both DCI and EDCI transport applications are built with a common network infrastructure. ROADMs add value in these cases for all the reasons stated above. Many of the cases where ROADMs have been deployed today for data centre transport applications are actually for both interconnecting data centres and connecting end users all from the same network infrastructure. Te flexibility and cost savings of ROADMs really stand out in this combined application.

In summary, ROADM-based transport networks can enable very high bandwidth support, increase network resiliency, lower power consumption, and support multi-service flexible bandwidth. While the case can already be made that ROADMs have a place in both DCI and EDCI applications, the final point to make is that ultimately cloud services are about changing the rigid service delivery model of the past and making the network as flexible and programmable as the applications. ROADMs help enable this vision.l

Bill Kautz is director of strategic solutions marketing at Coriant

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