Symposium 1

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Morning Symposium


Wednesday, 8:45-12:45, 30 September, 2015


Optical Communications and Networks for Datacenters


In remembrance of Professor Harm Dorren, a pioneer of Data Centre Technologies, Technical University of Eindhoven



Ken-ichi Kitayama, Osaka University

Dimitra Simeonidou, University of Bristol




The global amount of digital information is growing at a staggering pace of 50% p.a. and will exceed 60 Zettabytes in 2020. While storing and processing of such massive data will offer new business opportunities, it will also require new Data Centre and Data Centre networking architectures to provide the necessary scalability, resource sharing, and automation.

Scalability is achieved by increasing the number of connected compute and storage devices as well as their interface and processing speeds. Warehouse-size Data Centres can easily host ten thousands of servers with their associated storage. Using multiple geographically dispersed Data Centres provides redundancy and further scalability. Server and storage disaggregation and virtualization improve the Data Centre utilization by resource sharing between multiple tenants or applications. Open source or vendor-specific software frameworks allow an automated control of compute and storage resources.


One of the most challenging issues when scaling Data Centre resources is the attached network infrastructure – inside the Data Centre, between multiple Data Centres and between the Data Centre and the user. Novel network control, flexible allocation of networking functions, advanced and programmable switching and interface technologies are crucial to facilitate a seamless capacity adaptation and a coordinated orchestration of computing, storage and network resources.


This special symposium provides a forum for service & content providers, system integrators, equipment manufacturers, component suppliers and academia to discuss requirements, challenges and solutions for next-generation Data Centres. Key results from latest research as well as practical findings from commercial deployments will be presented.


Specifically, the following questions will be addressed:

  • What will be the role of Data Centres in future service & content provider networks?
  • What network architectures & connectivity is required (intra-DC, inter-DC, user to DC)?
  • Which role will open source software frameworks play?
  • How can network appliances be virtualized and where will they be allocated?
  • How will next generation DCs look like?
  • How to best trade-off latency, bandwidth, connectivity, cost and power?
  • Which role will optics play inside future DCs (as well as inter-DC and user to DC)?
  • Which optical interconnect technologies will be used (on-board, intra-rack, inter-rack)?
  • What will be the granularity of interconnected resource, specifically with reference to needs and benefits of disaggregation?





Part I: Infrastructure

Chair: Prof. Kitayama


8:45-9:00 Ton Koonen, TUE

Tribute to Prof. Harm Dorren


9:00-9:15 Ryo Takahashi, NTT Device Tech. Labs

A Hybrid OPS/OCS/VOCS Torus-Datacenter Network Enabled by Smart Flow Management

Abstract:  We present an energy-efficient, low-latency, torus-topology intra-datacenter network based on 100-Gb/s hybrid optoelectronic routers, where OPS, OCS and virtual OCS are all supported on a single hardware platform enabled by smart flow management.


9:15-9:30 Nicola Calabretta, TUE

High performance and low latency data center networks exploiting optical switching technologies

Abstract: Scalability issues of data center networks (DCN) based on electronics switches are discussed and novel DCN architectures exploiting the optical switching technologies are presented. Performance assessments in terms of bandwidth and latency indicate potential benefits of the proposed architectures.


9:30-9:45 Nathan Farrington, US San Diego

Enabling Data Center SDN with Stateless Source Routing

Abstract: Current SDN approaches seek to manage distributed switch state with a centralized software-based controller. We propose completely removing all state from switches, requiring data center servers to implement all network functionality, leading to a more scalable and lower cost solution.


9:45-10:00 Antonella Bogoni, CNIT

The ROAM project: revolutionising optical fiber transmission and networking using the orbital angular momentum of light

Abstract: The talk will revise the new research results on the use of the orbital angular momentum of light for increasing the capacity and the flexibility in  next-generation data centers. The new European project ROAM, focused on the development of innovative architectures and dedicated photonic integrated circuits, will be presented.


10:00-10:15 Nick Parsons, Polatis

Dynamic optical circuit switching for efficient and scalable software-defined datacentre networks

Abstract: SDN-enabled optical circuit switching provides transparent and low-loss connectivity on demand that can scale to thousands of ports, allowing dynamic provisioning and resource optimisation in fibre-rich datacentre networks. This talk reviews key requirements and use cases, highlighting recent developments under the European FP7 COSIGN project.


30min Q&A and debate


Coffee break     



Part II: Networking and services

Chair: Prof. Simeonidou


11:00-11:15 Reza Nejabati, University of Bristol

Towards a Completely Softwareized and Functional Programmable Optical Data Centre

Abstract: This talk aims to introduce recent advances in data plane and control plane of optical network for creating network infrastructure of next generation data centres that are expected to be agile and application adaptive. It will introduces new solutions based SDN and NFV leveraging on the capability of programmable optical network interfaces and optical switching technologies for creating a deeply and functional programmable data centre network.


11:15-11:30 Jorg Peter Elbers, ADVA

Emerging Trends in Optical Data Center Networking

Abstract: As data centers rapidly grow in capacity and size, optical technologies are becoming of paramount importance. This talk will discuss emerging trends in intra- and inter-data center networking. Optical interfaces, multi-layer switching, and software-defined control will be addressed.


11:30-11:45 Ramon Casellas, CTTC

Inter DC orchestration solutions and overarching control: towards a 5G integration

Abstract: 5G services relying on the concepts of “ultra-high speed”, “best-connected” and “high-volume/low-latency” require efficient infrastructures enabling flexible and dynamic allocation of inter-connected cloud storage/processing, while spanning heterogeneous technologies. We discuss architectures and trends for their overarching control and SDN orchestration


11:45-12:00 Dominique Verchere, Alcatel-Lucent

Potential and Challenges of SDN Control for on-demand Optical Network provisioning

Abstract: With the increase cloud- services, customers want connectivity services on-demand. These services present new challenges for network controllers because optical system provisioning is complex. Innovations are presented positioning SDN controller capabilities to orchestrate spectrally and spatially flexible optical network services.


12:00-12:15: Albert Rafel, BT

Pragmatic and open SDN approaches to video-centric and resilient optical access networks

Abstract: This talk will assess the emerging requirements for SDN supporting resilient optical access networks and data-centres to handle a future high resolution video centric service environment.


30min Q&A and debate


12:45-13:45 Reception in honor of Prof. Harm Dorren sponsored by the EU LIGHTNESS project


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