In recent years, architectures, devices, and components in telecommunication networks have been challenged by evolutionary and revolutionary factors which are drastically changing the traffic features. Most of these changes imply the need for major re-configurability and programmability not only in data-centers and core networks, but also in the metro-access segment. In a wide variety of contexts, this necessity has been addressed by the proposed introduction of the innovative paradigm of software-defined networks (SDNs). Several solutions inspired by the SDN model have been recently proposed also for metro and access networks, where the adoption of a new generation of software-defined reconfigurable integrated photonic devices is highly desirable. In this paper, we review the possible future application scenarios for software-defined metro and access networks and software-defined photonics (SDP), on the base of analytics, statistics, and surveys. This work describes the reasons underpinning the presented radical change of paradigm and summarizes the most significant solutions proposed in literature, with a specific emphasis to physical-layer reconfigurable networks and a focus on both architectures and devices.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited