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In this paper, we propose an edge reconfigurable optical network as an intermediate step toward fully dynamic optical core network. ERON is an overlay-control network created by installing GMPLS-enabled MEMs optical switches at the edge of a core optical network composed of static lightpaths. We propose a network design algorithm that takes as input the key resource locations dispersed globally and a realistic traffic matrix from end-users and outputs a virtual topology comprised of the minimum required static lightpaths interconnected via ERON switches. This paper describes the key concepts involved in the design of an efficient ERON network combined with routing and reservation algorithms to assure low blocking probabilities. We also describe the management and control architecture and protocols required to provide end-user/application control of the dynamic lightpaths.