This paper describes the design considerations and architecture of a Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS)-based scalable control plane that we are prototyping for optical packet switched (OPS) networks. Functional components of the control plane include a user network interface (UNI), optical label coding, multi-layer routing/traffic engineering algorithm and integrated signaling protocol. Initial implementation and experimentation has demonstrated the feasibility of our prototype as a testbed for various control schemes for OPS networks. One key element of the architecture proposed is the use of external MPLS labeling controlled by the UNI. This proposal reduces the load on the OPS domain header processing while having little impact on the MPLS domain.
The traffic grooming functionality of two optical packet switched (OPS) node architectures that use a switched wavelength infrastructure are investigated. Three different application scenarios are considered: single-hop grooming with edge-OPS only, multi-hop grooming with edge-OPS only and grooming with edge and core OPS. The advantages and disadvantages of the first two application scenarios are explained by a case study. The third scenario also considers the effects of differing core-OPS placement in different network topologies. One key factor investigated is the effect of aggregation granularity on the grooming performance in the core-OPS scenario.