Photonic Network Communications, 7:3, 227±238, 2004
# 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.Manufactured in The Netherlands.
Optical Virtual Private Networks: Applications, Functionality
Global Crossing, 200 Park Avenue, Suite 300, Florham Park, NJ 07932
Tellium, Inc. Oceanport, NJ 07757
Received June 2002; Revised and Accepted April 2003
Abstract. Today's economic environment presents special challenges for telecommunication carriersÐ®nding new ways to drive down
network costs i, without limiting future growth opportunities.Minimizing operating expenses and capital expenditures is not suf®cient to ensure
future prosperity.New, value-added services can help carriers increase their revenues and pro®tsÐtoday.Virtual private networks (VPNs), both
data (IP & MPLS) and optical, ®t the description of value-added services.
VPN services have received ample attention over the last few years as they are viewed by carriers as an attractive value added service and by
customers as a cost effective replacement of leased private lines.VPNs can also help carriers reduce their costsÐboth capital and operationalÐ
by supporting multiple customers, each allowed with varying levels of network control and management over the same (shared) infrastructure.
Optical virtual private networks (O-VPNs) represent the next step in the evolution of VPNs and provide similar underlying bene®ts as other
VPN technologies to carriers.Although both carriers and vendors have been talking about O-VPNs for years, the ®rst commercially viable
solutions started becoming available in early 2002 .O-VPNs provide carriers with new revenue opportunities as well as the potential to
reduce their operating and capital costs.Additionally, O-VPNs offer carrier-customers several bene®ts, including lower networking costs,
increased network ¯exibility and control, and improved network operational ef®ciency.
Keywords: optical, optical services, wavelengths, wavelength services, optical virtual private network, optical VPN, provider provisioned
For telecommunications carriers, the pressure to
improve the bottom line has never been more intense.
Every carrier is looking for ways to reduce capital
expenditures and operating expenses.However, since
reducing costs represents only part of the pro®t
equation, carriers are also seeking ways to open new
markets, build customer loyalty, and increase rev-
enues.As such, carriers are looking at different
business models and new revenue opportunities to
grow their business, and therefore all new carrier
service deployments must pass a stringent return on
investment (ROI) analysis that is based on cost
reduction, new revenue generation and pro®tability.
Virtual private networks (VPNs), both data and
optical, ®t this description.
A VPN refers to private communication between a
set of sites, using a shared network infrastructure .
The logical structure of the VPN, such as topology,
addressing, connectivity, reachability, access control,
reliability and security is equivalent, partially or
completely, to that of a conventional private network
using private facilities [3,4].The essential attributes
of a VPN can be segmented into ®ve broad categories:
scalability, security, quality of service (QoS), manage-
ability and reliability .
An increasing number of carriers have come to the
realization that providing telecom services does not
require building their own physical infrastructure .
These carriers have evaluated their core competency,
business models and value proposition, and concluded
that brand and differentiation can be achieved through
end services and customer relations without providing