Given the large installed base of ring fiber-plants and the extensive experience operators have gained in operating SONET (SDH) ring networks, optical rings are becoming increasingly important. As such, optical rings will play a crucial role in the migration from existing TDM-based SONET (SDH) architectures to more dynamic lightpath provisioning paradigms. To date, various optical ring concepts have been tabled, proposing multi-services support and mirroring the fast protection switching capabilities of existing SONET (SDH) rings. Nevertheless, the emerging IP-based MPL(ambda)S framework for optical networks is largely based upon (optical) mesh routing concepts. Clearly, there is a strong need to formalize a more comprehensive architectural framework for dynamic optical rings and ensure their integration within the emerging MPL(ambda)S architecture. Along these lines, the various optical ring schemes are summarized and associated MPL(ambda)S interworking concerns detailed.
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