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This paper reviews recent progress in optical protection rings with the focus on transparent optical protection rings. Different optical protection ring architectures, such as dedicated and shared protection rings, in both the optical-channel (OCh) layer and the optical multiplex section (OMS) layer, are described. In particular, OCh shared protection rings (OChSPRINGs) are discussed in detail including node-architecture designs, ring protocols, triggers, and messaging channels. Feasibility studies and experimental results from Corning Inc. and other companies are reviewed. The paper also discusses how protection-switching times scale with number of nodes and number of wavelengths, and shows examples of applications using the scaling rules for practical optical networks such as metro, regional, and long-haul ring networks. The cost benefits of transparent optical protection rings are analyzed using a typical metro network. Finally, the paper discusses remaining issues and future developments in the optical protection ring area.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005