What is this white paper about?

As bandwidth requirements grow rapidly, optical network operators face an ongoing challenge of modifying their optical networks to meet demands. In wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networks, this may mean adding wavelengths, or changing wavelength distribution within the network.

Network managers are challenged with keeping track of all the wavelengths, monitor their correct operation and deploy new wavelengths easily, while reducing operational costs of the network.

The Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) provides the required flexibility to add wavelengths or change their destination easily. ROADMs also provide a remotely managed process with full control and monitoring of the entire infrastructure. As a comparison, a non-ROADM network, if not already pre-assigned, adding new services requires redesign or major network changes which are time and resource consuming and pose risks of traffic disruptions.

This white paper explores the evolution from passive based infrastructure and its limitations compared with ROADM-based solutions.