With the high interest of network operators and manufacturers for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networking technology, the need for management systems adapted to this new technology keeps increasing. We investigated this topic and produced outputs through the specification of the functional architecture, network layered model, and through the development of new, TMN- based, information models for the management of optical networks and network elements. Based on these first outputs, defects in each layer together with parameters for performance management/monitoring have been identified for each type of optical network element, and each atomic function describing the element, including functions for both the transport of payload signals and of overhead information. The list of probable causes has been established for the identified defects. A second aspect consists in the definition of network-level parameters, if such photonic technology-related parameters are to be considered at this level. It is our conviction that some parameters can be taken into account at the network level for performance management, based on physical measurements within the network. Some parameters could possibly be used as criteria for configuration management, in the route calculation processes, including protection. The outputs of these specification activities are taken into account in the development of a manageable WDM network prototype which will be used as a test platform to demonstrate configuration, fault, protection and performance management in a real network, in the scope of the ACTS-MEPHISTO project. This network prototype will also be used in a larger size experiment in the context of the ACTS-PELICAN field trial (Pan-European Lightwave Core and Access Network).