By TIP News

Orange steps towards open optical networks with GNPy

Mar 11, 2020

Optical transport networks are built on transmission system equipment sold as turn-key solutions, a situation that requires buying vendor specific design tools. This is one of the main blocking point to interoperate optical equipment because vendor proprietary design tools cannot model other vendors’ solutions. Openness and interoperability of optical transport network being key issues for Orange, Orange decided to contribute to GNPy and successfully implemented it for its networks.

GNPy (Gaussian Noise model in Python) is an open source software tool developed in the framework of Telecom Infra Project. It is a game changer software, meaning that vendor specific and proprietary designs are no longer the rule and this is being achieved thanks to large Orange contributions. Started only one year ago, GNPy has already set an industry reference on a subject that used to be hidden and not negotiable.

GNPy algorithms and models are open and have been experimentally validated by Orange and other community members and can help to fairly compare vendors’ solutions: this is a unique feature that vendors’ tools fail to support. Moreover, GNPy gives autonomy with respect to supplier’s tools and responses. It is used for planning, what if studies, procurement and purchasing process (Requests For Proposal, RFP) preparation and analysis as well as for network automation.

First success stories in Orange

  • Orange teams adopted GNPy for their planning and studies. GNPy is becoming a key asset to gain autonomy with respect to vendors designs. “Having a third party tool enables us to quickly have answers on day to day problems, avoiding long delays of vendor’s answers” says Christian Gacon vice president, Wireline Networks and Infrastructure, Orange.
  • Orange used GNPy during recent RFPs. GNPy templates were imposed to bidders to standardize their responses and build the library of equipment. The same basis of analysis was then performed with GNPy to fairly benchmark equipment performance.

Orange also exploited GNPy for the West African backbone project to benchmark and challenge bidders’ design. “Thanks to GNPy we were able to challenge (very quickly) initial proposals and to obtain a better optimized network design during the consultation process,” says Ghislain Guillochon, technical project manager.

GNPy is also a good candidate for automation solutions. It was recently integrated in the Transport PCE opensource controller led and contributed by Orange in the framework of Open Daylight, and demonstrated on an ONOS open source controller demo at TIP summit 2019.

Next steps

Orange is well positioned to leverage on GNPy capabilities: from the laboratory end to end tests over 2000km of fiber, to the data scientific analysis and finally into the simulation tool supporting our affiliates. This optical expertise is a key asset for the ‘softwarization’ and automation of our networks.

Learn more about the Open Optical and Packet Transport Project Group here: