OpenFlow, as an open-source protocol for network virtualization, is also widely regarded as a promising control plane technique for heterogeneous networks. But the utilization of the OpenFlow protocol to control a wavelength switched optical network has not been investigated. In this paper, for the first time, we experimentally present a proof-of-concept demonstration of OpenFlow-based wavelength path control for lightpath provisioning in transparent optical networks. We propose two different approaches (sequential and delayed approaches) for lightpath setup and two different approaches (active and passive approaches) for lightpath release by using the OpenFlow protocol. The overall feasibility of these approaches is experimentally validated and the network performances are quantitatively evaluated. More importantly, all the proposed methodologies are demonstrated and evaluated on a real transparent optical network testbed with both OpenFlow-based control plane and data plane, which allows their feasibility and effectiveness to be verified, and valuable insights of the proposed solutions to be obtained for deploying into real OpenFlow controlled optical networks.
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