Conventional approaches to designing one signaling protocol for each type of traffic will not be scalable, economical and efficient when new applications emerge, each with significantly different traffic characteristics and service requirements. As a partial answer to the call for an converged control and management framework for future optical networks, this paper presents a new network called PATON, which uses a unified signaling, switching and reservation framework, called Polymorphous Optical Burst Switching (POBS). POBS can seamlessly support various types of services, including but not limited to wavelength services, sub-wavelength circuit services and best-effort services with or without scheduled reservation. An overview of the proposed signaling framework is presented before implementation challenges and main features of PATON are discussed. Finally, the advantage of POBS over three representative optical circuit switching approaches is shown through both qualitative and quantitative studies.