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The emergence of WDM-based optical transport has brought about unprecedented potential for ultra-high-speed IP core networks. It also holds great challenges, not least of which is to determine the optimal way of merging the optical domain with the IP domain. Beyond this issue, still a subject of research, the path to an efficient and resilient optical transmission IP core network is beset by numerous difficulties caused by shortcomings inherent to IP. Simply merging WDM and IP will not automatically produce a core network capable of serving the needs and adapting to the nature of diverse IP traffic. This article demonstrates the complexities of and proposes a possible solution for optimizing the next-generation core network, evolving the management plane IP/WDM integration model proposed in the 1ST WINMAN project. We concentrate on making the core network efficient for transporting differentiated service traffic, adaptive to changes in traffic patterns and resilient against possible failures, which would disrupt its operation. To these ends we introduce MPLS TE and DiffServ QoS functionality in our network model, thus ensuring maximum utilization of resources and automated guarantees of optimal quality for different types of transported traffic.