LIGHTNESS: A Function-Virtualizable Software Defined Data Center Network with All-Optical Circuit/Packet Switching

George M. Saridis, Shuping Peng, Yan Yan, Alejandro Aguado, Bingli Guo, Murat Arslan, Chris Jackson, Wang Miao, Nicola Calabretta, Fernando Agraz, Salvatore Spadaro, Giacomo Bernini, Nicola Ciulli, Georgios Zervas, Reza Nejabati, Dimitra Simeonidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
544 Downloads (Pure)


Modern high-performance Data Centers are responsible for delivering a huge variety of cloud applications to the end-users, which are increasingly pushing the limits of currently deployed computing and network infrastructure. All-optical dynamic data center network (DCN) architectures are strong candidates to overcome those adversities, especially when they are combined with an intelligent software defined control plane. In this paper, we report the first harmonious integration of an optical flexible hardware framework operated by an agile software and virtualization platform. The LIGHTNESS deeply-programmable all-optical circuit and packet switched data plane is able to perform unicast/multicast switch-over on-demand, while the powerful Software Defined Networking (SDN) control plane enables the virtualization of computing and network resources creating a virtual data center (VDC) and virtual network functions (VNF) on top of the data plane. We experimentally demonstrate realistic intra data center networking with deterministic latencies for both unicast and multicast, showcasing monitoring and database migration scenarios each of which is enabled by an associated network function virtualization (NFV) element. Results demonstrate a fully-functional complete unification of advanced optical data plane with an SDN control plane, promising more efficient management of the next-generation data center compute and network resources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7359113
Pages (from-to)1618-1627
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number7
Early online date17 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Data Center Networking
  • Multicast
  • Network Function Virtualization
  • Optical Circuit Switching
  • Optical Packet Switching
  • Software Defined Networking
  • Virtual Data Center
  • Virtual Network Function


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