Optical technology has brought about altogether new paradigms in the networking field and created an immense momentum in the telecommunications market. Optical component technologies are now enabling the development and deployment of advanced, optical solutions for many networking needs. Overall, there have been some major trends towards optical networks comprising ring/mesh-routed topologies, and connection management intelligence. One of the key challenges to the evolving optical transport network (OTN) is network survivability; how traffic can be protected in OTN with survivability levels equivalent to those achieved in todays SONET/SDH networks. In this article, we focus on metro optical network protection. We begin with an overview of metro optical transport network survivability requirements, followed by an analysis of various network protection mechanisms and how these mechanisms may evolve to support the development of metro optical networks. The benefits of using ring protection scheme in metro optical networks are demonstrated.