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Optical Networking Best Practices Handbook by John R. Vacca

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10.1. OPTICAL SWITCHES

Carriers have embraced DWDM as a mechanism to quickly respond to an increasing need for bandwidth, particularly in the long-haul core network. Many of these carriers have also recognized that this wavelength-based infrastructure creates the foundation for the new-generation optical network. However, as DWDM delivers only raw capacity, carriers now need to implement a solution to manage the bandwidth that DWDM provides. Optical switches present the key for carriers to manage the new capacity and gain a competitive advantage in the recruitment and retention of new customers. To secure improved efficiency, lower cost, and new revenue-generating services, carriers have at least two choices of optical switches to control their bandwidth and rising capital expenses (CAPEX), the OEO switch and the all-optical, photonic-based OOO switch, which will be discussed in complete detail in Section 10.1.3. A logical evolution path to the next-generation network must include the deployment of intelligent OEO switches to ensure that current needs are met and all-optical OOO switches are added where and when they make sense. Therefore, there is no debate on whether carriers need to deploy either OEO or OOO, but there is debate on how to optimize network and service offerings through the implementation of both switch types [1].

10.1.1. Economic Challenges

In addition, recent economic challenges have highlighted the fact that the network evolution must increase the efficiency ...

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