Optical disaggregation roughly involves utilizing whitebox components without compromising overall network performance. Through disaggregation, network operators can have flexible and fine-grained control over their network from control and management to the network node hardware. Upgrading any network nodes or network software with cutting-edge technologies, customizing them or even adding specialized hardware or software is easier and more cost efficient. Additionally, disaggregation allows independent evolution of different components of the network with instant deployment.
As of today, the benefits of optical disaggregation have not been fully established, and some concerns are raised regarding disaggregation. On the one hand, it is important to clearly identify the shortcomings and define in which contexts it does not make sense to opt for disaggregation. On the other hand, there are challenges open to fully exploit disaggregation benefits. For example, the concept of network disaggregation has been tied to the use of AI/ML techniques for aspects related to optical transmission and network operations. However, protocols and frameworks initial applicability mainly targeted device configuration and simple monitoring and notification support, and AI/ML require availability of high volumes of data that need to be collected and processed. Aspects such as speed of data retrieval and processing, latency and bandwidth constraints or data synchronization requirements are becoming increasingly relevant in large-scale telemetry and ML driven network operation.
Organizers: Ramon Casellas (CTTC), Josep Maria Fàbrega (CTTC), Filippo Cugini (CNIT)