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Performance management is still a major complication for all-optical networks (AONs). In particular, signal quality monitoring is too difficult in AONs as the analogue nature of optical signals means that miscellaneous transmission impairments aggregate and can impact the signal quality enough to reduce the Quality of Service (QoS) without precluding all network services. This results in the continuous monitoring and identification of the impairments becoming challenging in the event of transmission failures. However, a simple and reliable signal quality monitoring method does not exist at present. Despite new methods for performance monitoring having been proposed, no robust standards or techniques exist to date for guaranteeing the QoS in AONs. Therefore, the need for more sophisticated mechanisms that assist managing and assessing the proper function of AONs is highly desirable. In this work we present the design and internal architecture of a hardware-based Monitoring Device Block (MDB) that can be used in some tasks for performance management of AONs.