Authors: Michael Z. Feng, Kerry Hinton, Robert Ayre, Rodney S. Tucker
In recent years, there has been a strong push in the telecommunications industry toward the use of intelligent optical networks (IONs). Generalised Multi-Protocol Label Switching(GMPLS) and Automatically Switched Optical Networks (ASON) have been widely promoted as tools to enable intelligent networking and on-demand provisioning. This added intelligence in the network enables a reduction in operational expenditure (OPEX), by reducing the amount of manual intervention required for network service provisioning and reconfiguration. Moreover, the additional intelligence in the network facilitates an increase in network efficiency, as it allows the network to adapt to changing traffic levels. However, in the past there has been very little focus on the issues of energy consumption when extra intelligence is provided in the network. As the cost of energy increases, (especially if a carbon tax is included), the energy consumption of the network is becoming an increasingly important issue. This paper investigates the potential energy savings that could be achieved and the additional energy that would be required when a network without ASON/GMPLS capability is migrated into an automated and intelligent optical network enabled by the ASON/GMPLS control plane technology.