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 Thursday, 15 October 2009
A revision to key Optical Transport Network (OTN) standard - Recommendation ITU-T G.709 - extends its applicability to 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). This revision also adds a variable-size switchable container (ODUflex) to the OTN hierarchy to more efficiently carry packet and constant bit rate clients, which did not fit well into the traditional fixed-size OTN containers. OTN mappings for storage area network (SAN) interfaces and mobile interfaces are also a part of this new revision.

ITU-T Recommendation G.709 "Interfaces for the optical transport network (OTN)" describes a means of communicating data over an optical network. It is a standardized method for transparent transport of services over optical wavelengths in DWDM systems.

Operators are facing challenges with the migration from traditional SDH/SONET to IP/Ethernet based services. The ITU-T G.709 OTN standard is a vehicle to enable convergence, and for providing a common and SONET/SDH-like operational model for network administration, performance monitoring and fault isolation, without altering the individual services.

Using OTN, multiple networks and services such as legacy SONET/SDH, Ethernet, storage protocols and video can all be combined onto a common infrastructure.

Most importantly, unlike SONET/SDH, OTN is the only transport layer in the industry that can carry a full 10/40/100 GbE LAN PHY from IP/Ethernet switches and routers at full bandwidth. With the rapid migration towards IP/Ethernet-based infrastructure, OTN becomes the transport layer of choice for network operators.

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