Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

The combined research at DTU Fotonik encompasses a broad spectrum of today’s photonics research, ranging from nanotechnology at one end to complicated network architecture at the other.

This includes the design and characterisation of new optical materials, light sources, sensors and components for communications systems as well as new methods for transmission and treatment of signals, lasers, LED systems, and optimisation of network building and administration, and the development of light sources and sensors for industrial use.

Two groups from DTU Fotonik will contribute to this project.

The High-Speed Optical Communications group at DTU Fotonik has world class facilities for both experimental and theoretical investigations of ultra-high speed optical communication systems. This includes BER testing at 40-50 Gbit/s in addition to sampling oscilloscopes, lightwave analysers, short pulse generation and characterisation, and very relevant for this project an optical TDM system capable of generating and demultiplexing 1.28 Tbit/s serial data signals and up to 5.1 Tbit/s with advanced modulation formats. The laboratory equipment has been built up over several years and would provide a sound basis for this project.

The Networks Technology & Service Platforms group at DTU Fotonik will contribute to this project with its broad knowledge in the field optical network design and modelling. The group participates in a large number of project in the area of high speed network technologies and has together with XENA networks implemented a 100Gbit/s Ethernet test platform that will be used in COSIGN for realtime emulation of the TOR switch.

Role in the project: In COSIGN DTU will be responsible for the overall project management and coordination, as well as being leader the WP5 on integration and validation of the COSIGN DCN concept.

Nextworks (NXW)

Nextworks s.r.l., located in Pisa, Italy, is a very dynamic SME that was created in 2002 as a spin-off company of Consorzio Pisa Ricerche (CPR) in order to exploit the vast experience gained since 1995 in the context of National and International research projects and consultancies, by a group of engineers and computer scientists of the CPR DITEL (Division of Computer Science and Telecommunications) centre. Nextworks operates in the IT and Telecommunications sectors, collaborating with some of the major European telecommunications manufacturers and operators.

The company’s team boasts long-term experience and proved skills in the frameworks of wireless, access and transport networks, IP telephony, digital video encoding and transport, design and development of complex software systems on both traditional and embedded platforms and in Quality of Service (QoS) issues in packet networks. The kind of consulting activities carried out by Nextworks range from pure support consulting on one end, up to long-term, third-party design & developments of protocol stacks for equipment vendors, on the other end.

The specific nature and technical position of these activities require a leading-edge, up-to-date know-how and practical expertise. In order to fulfil this requirement, Nextworks participates actively in EU-funded research projects, cooperating with both academic and industrial partners, as an important and preferential investment to develop and update its knowledge on selected topics.

Nextworks has already been active in standardization activities (e.g. in IETF and OGF) and research projects funded in the context of FP6 and FP7, both Integrated Projects and STREPs, and has accomplished WP and task leadership roles. Nextworks research team features high expertise and know-how in design and implementation of SDN architectures, control planes and resource orchestration mechanisms for integrated control and management of heterogeneous network technologies, also in support of cloud services. In this area, Nextworks has participated in several EU FP7 projects (GEYSERS, MAINS, FIBRE, CONTENT, Mobile Cloud Networking), developing control planes for physical and virtual optical networks and investigating the coordinated provisioning of connectivity services and cloud resources.

Role in the Project: In the COSIGN project, Nextworks will co-lead WP3, contributing in design and implementation of orchestration mechanisms for intra-DC resources. Moreover, in WP3 Nextworks will contribute in the definition of extensions for SDN-enabled protocols and controllers for the operation of optical networks within DCs, supporting also the definition of the information model for virtual resources in WP4 and the integration of the developed prototypes in WP5. In WP1 Nextworks will be involved in the identification of the technical requirements for the provisioning of Virtual DC services and the definition of the COSIGN architecture. Finally, Nextworks will support the exploitation and dissemination of the project results in relevant international conferences and industrial events, and will actively participate in standardization activities with special focus on IETF and IRTF for SDN extensions for optical networks and cross-stratum orchestration.

Fundació Privada i2CAT, Internet i Innovació Digital a Catalunya (i2CAT)

The i2CAT Foundation is a not for profit organisation located in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) focused on Future Internet research, development and innovation, and aims at meeting the following objectives: i) to promote and foster experimental technological development; ii) to promote advanced research into networks and broadband applications and to foster its usage; iii) to develop Internet technologies in Catalonia, particularly in terms of applications, services and advanced research in network technologies; iv) to set up platforms for collaboration between the private sector and university research bodies, and promote collaboration with organisations and institutions that have similar aims at national or international level and v) to participate in national, international and FP EC European research projects.

i2CAT’s Distributed Applications and Networks Area (DANA) is currently involved in several European and international projects, mainly in the area of network/infrastructure virtualization, test-bed management and federation, network provisioning and cloud/network integration. It consists of eighteen full time researchers.

Following there is a list of the main EC and international projects the team is or has been involved in: SODALES, CONTENT, GEYSERS, FIBRE, IRATI, OFERTIE, OFELIA, BONFIRE, NOVI, MANTYCHORE, GÉANT3, RAISME, FP6 PHOSPHORUS and FP7 FEDERICA.

Role in the Project: i2CAT’s will bring its network control and management experience to the project. Specifically, i2CAT will contribute to the architecture definition in WP1 and specifically will put most of their effort in the design and development of the SDN orchestrator for the control and management of the intra Data Centre infrastructure in WP3. i2CAT will also contribute to the implementation of the management platform and the design of the SDN controller and the required extensions in support of the DC optical network infrastructure as the definition of the different interfaces. In WP4, i2CAT will collaborate with the network virtualization model and in WP5, will give support to the system integration of the software and hardware prototypes developed in WP2, WP3 and WP4. Finally, i2CAT will use its experience to collaborate in the dissemination activities in WP6.

Polatis Ltd (Polatis)

Polatis delivers the world’s lowest loss optical circuit switch solutions for dynamic remote fibre-layer provisioning, protection, monitoring, reconfiguration and test, with over 1000 systems installed worldwide. The field-proven DirectLight optical matrix switch technology integrates piezoelectric actuation with position sensors to connect 2D arrays of collimated fibres directly in free space.

Matrix size currently scales from 4×4 to 192×192 fibre ports with typically 1dB optical loss, applying class-leading performance to telecommunications, data centre, government, test and video networks. Significantly, switching occurs completely independently of the power level, colour or direction of light on the path, enabling pre-provisioning of dark fibre and avoiding concatenation of switching delays across mesh or multi-stage switch networks.

Polatis is a privately-held SME headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with manufacturing facilities located near Krakow, Poland. Over 80% of Polatis products are exported to customers outside the EU. Polatis currently participates in the Framework 7 projects C3PO – Colouress and Coolerless Components for low Power Optical networks and DISCUS – DIStributed Core for unlimited bandwidth supply for all Users and Services.

Role in the Project: In COSIGN, Polatis will work with Bristol University and partners on the efficient integration of optical circuit switching elements under a software-defined network control plane and will contribute to the architecture studies for next generation data centre connectivity. Polatis will extend its DirectLight optical switch technology beyond the current state of the art in terms of matrix size, energy efficiency and cost per port. Polatis will also work with Southampton University and OFS to create an ultra-low latency OXC using hollow core fibre and DirectLight technology. Polatis will supply OXCs to the consortium for systems experiments and assist integration with the test bed.

University of Bristol (UNIVBRIS)

University of Bristol is one of the UK’s leading research universities. It has engaged in EU funded research for more than 20 years and has developed a dedicated support infrastructure, and experienced staff for participating in EU projects.

High Performance Networks group (HPN) has recently moved from the University of Essex to the University of Bristol in order to establish research on future optical and layer 2 communication network infrastructures and complement existing research on photonic devices, wireless/mobile communication, HPC and networked media and advanced visualization. The group has a strong experimental focus and is extremely well equipped with transmission capabilities up to 500 Gbps, full photonic elastic switching, Carrier Grade Ethernet testbeds, IP routers, OpenFlow switches and ultra-high resolution visualization facilities. The underlying network connectivity facilities include: a dark fibre network connectivity; 1 and 10 Gbps dedicated wavelength services over the JANET network; high speed dedicated connectivity over GEANT and GLIF to many research institutions into Europe, North/South America and Asia (Japan).

The HPN group at UNIVBRIS has leading role on control framework and architectural design and implementation of FP7 OFELIA and FP7 FIBRE FIRE experimental facility projects. Furthermore UNIVBRIS has leading role in the following EU FP7 projects: GEANT3 (Task leader on design and implementation of virtualization service), LIGHTNESS (Project technical leader and task leader on design, implementation and integration of the data plane in data centre), GEYSERS (WP leader on architecture design for virtual optical network and IT infrastructure for cloud), IDEALIST (leading tasks on Flex-Grid Interconnection Node and interfaces), and ADONNAS (WP and task leader on design and implementation of future high speed transport optical technologies), MANTHYCORE (WP leader on design and implementation of Market place for virtual infrastructure), VISIONAIRE (development of ultra-high definition media experimental facility), CONTENT (leading tasks on virtualization and work package on optical network integration with wireless network,), FED4FIRE (leading tasks on experiment workflow tools and lifecycle management as well as measuring and monitoring), ALIEN (leading task on design and definition of hardware abstraction layer).

Role in the Project: UNIVBRIS will focus on both optical internetworking data plane and SDN-enabled control plane for intra-DC. UNIVBRIS will contribute to the architecture design in WP1, and the evaluation and design of the optical technologies that are suitable for DC environments in WP2. In WP3, UNIVBRIS will collaborate with the SDN control plane architecture design, and lead the design and implementation of the SDN controller and proper protocols for realizing the communications between the controller and optical devices. In WP4, UNIVBRIS will be actively involved in the virtualization layer design and implementation, proposing and validating DC virtualization algorithms and mechanisms. UNIVBRIS will support the integration, validation and demonstration in WP5, and in WP6 disseminate the project results through internationally-ranked journals and conferences.


Venture Photonics Ltd (Venture)

Venture Photonics Ltd is a photonics technology company registered at Altrincham, England, UK.

Venture has two main business activities. It is a service provider for photonic components industry at component design and prototyping levels. It is also developing its own IPR on the optical crosspoint switch technology, which is exclusively licensed to Venture from the University of Bristol, UK. Venture is targeting first market offering in 2014 with its InP-based monolithically integrated OXS modules.

Role in the Project: Venture will be responsible for developing scalable high speed network switches that can be interfaced with both conventional and PM MCF.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

UPC is a public university devoted to high level education and research excellence in engineering. The participation of UPC in the LIGHTNESS will be carried out by the CCABA (the Advanced Broadband Communications Centre,, which integrates several research groups with complementary interests in the communications and networking fields.

Specifically, the LIGHTNESS UPC-CCABA team will consist of researchers belonging to the Optical Communication Group (GCO) and the Broadband Communications Group (CBA). The GCO group key research areas involve Optical Fibre Technologies, Raman Spectroscopy and High-Speed Networking. In particular GCO current research interests are focused on the study of intelligent optical networks and advanced routing algorithms. The CBA group has wide expertise in networking topics, in particular in next generation networks, traffic monitoring and analysis, traffic modeling, traffic engineering, congestion control, switching and routing protocols, and QoS provisioning. As CCABA, both groups GCO and CBA, have already jointly participated in many European optical networking research projects, such as SONATA, LION, DAVID, NOBEL (I and II), and DICONET IP/Strep projects, and in e-Photon/One (I and II) and BONE Networks of Excellence.

Currently they are participating in the LIGHNTESS and EULER projects. Furthermore the CCABA laboratories host the CARISMA GMPLS-based test-bed, which consists of three Reconfigurable Optical Add and Drop Multiplexing nodes driven by a GMPLS Control Plane.

Role in the Project: In COSIGN, UPC will be involved in the design of the Data Centre Network architecture, with special emphasis on the requirements of the SDN-based control plane. Then, UPC will also contribute to the design of the control plane to manage optical nodes in data plane, in the design of the control protocol extensions required as well as in the experimental validation of the COSIGN control solutions for the Data Centre Network. UPC will also actively participate in the overall integration and validation for the experimental demonstration of the COSIGN concepts. Finally, UPC will actively participate to the dissemination of the project technical achievements through publications in major journals, magazines and conferences.

University of Southampton (UNISOUTH)

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), based at the University of Southampton, has been at the forefront of fibre technology for the past 50 years. Its mission is to combine focussed, applications-led research with fundamental studies into the generation, transmission and control of light – with a particular emphasis on lasers, nonlinear optics and telecommunications.

During its history the ORC has been responsible for the development of a wide range of important new fibre types (e.g. low loss silica fibres, rare earth doped fibres, PM fibres, dispersion shifted fibres, holey fibres) and new fibre components (e.g. the EDFA, superstructured fibre gratings and high power dual-clad fibre lasers). The ORC has engaged in a large amount of optical communications related research throughout its history, (often in collaboration with other commercial/academic organisations), and has frequently engaged in systems field trials using the technology it develops.

The Centre has more than 80 state-of-the-art photonics laboratories with more than 150 active research staff (academics, research fellows and students). The ORC has a long track record of successfully engaging in EU funded projects and has participated within the following projects amongst others: ACTS-MIDAS, ACTS-PHOTOS, ACTS-TOBASCO, ACTSESTHER, RACE-ARTEMIS, IST-LOBSTER, FP6-e-Photon/ONe, FP6-ePIXnet, FP6-TRIUMPH, FP7-PHASORS and FP7-MODEGAP.

Role in the Project: The ORCs primary contribution to the project is within WP2 and will be to develop MCF, PM-MCF and low-latency HC-PBGFs to the detailed requirements and specifications, and to work with partners and subcontractors (under commercial terms) to develop the necessary device connection solutions. The ORC will work closely with OFS in executing the fibre fabrication work.

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven TU/e (TUE)

The Technische Universiteit Eindhoven TU/e in the Netherlands offers (pre)graduate engineering programmes (BSc and MSc) and post-graduate technological design (MTD), PhD and teacher training programmes (MSc) and post-academic continuing education. The courses are research-driven and design-oriented. TU/e co-ordinates several prominent Dutch research schools and institutes, such as COBRA and has a strong position within international research networks. The TU/e is a natural partner for technology intensive enterprises. The campus is a fertile breeding ground for new business ventures.

The TU/e hosts the Dutch national centre on III-V-semiconductors and opto-electronics. Eindhoven University has built an 800 m2 clean room for research on Advanced Materials and Photonic Integration Technology. With these facilities, COBRA belongs to the world’s best equipped academic research centres in the field of Photonics. Furthermore, the ECO group has access to an extensive infrastructure for characterization of devices/PICs and systems such as a 56 Gigabit/s BER tester, 40 Gigahertz pulse-source for 640 Gigabit/s transmission research, and fast digital sampling and real-time oscilloscopes. Recent European project with TU/e ECO involvement include: LASAGNE, MUFINS, HISTORIC, ALPHA, POF-PLUS, BOOM, MODEGAP, EuroFOS, QUANTIP, QD2D and LIGHTNESS.

TUE will lead WP2 and focus on the novel TOR switch as well as the required technology for making compact 3D stacked transceiver modules for use in the TOR switches.

Role in the Project: TU/e contributes to this project in development of high-port count data-centre switches with 25 Gbps optical interfaces. In particular, TU/e will work on mid-board mountable 3D stacked transceiver ICs as well as on board design for 25 Gbps data-centre switches.

PhotonX Networks

PhotonX Networks B.V. is a spin-off company from the Eindhoven University of Technology. PhotonX develops and commercializes high-port count data-centre switches that have optical ports directly interfacing to optical fibre. This stands in contrast to commonly used data-centre switches that have electronic ports interfacing with active optical cables. In the vision of PhotonX, future data-centre networks require hardware based on optical interfaces, simply because the footprint of electrical interfaces will be too large to deal with bandwidth density requirements for data-centre. Moreover in the vision of PhotonX Networks data-centre switches with optical interfaces will be more cost-efficient compared to infrastructure with electrical interfaces.

Role in the Project: PhotonX contributed at three different levels to the project. Firstly, it will contribute to control software development that will be integrated in its current generation 10 Gbps prototype products. Secondly, PhotonX will team up with project partners to investigate technology for its next generation 25 Gbps products. Finally, PhotonX will collaborate and interact with project partners to further develop its roadmaps, and to explore future technology needs by interacting with potential customers that participate in this project.

IBM Israel – Science and Technology LTD

The IBM Haifa Research Lab (HRL) was founded in 1972. The lab has grown steadily, now employing over 500 researchers working in the general areas of software systems, cloud platforms and services, analytics, information management, ICT virtualization and more. To date, HRL is one of IBM’s main European centres for innovation, and a key technology contributor to IBM’s product and service portfolio.

HRL is an established centre of competence in cloud computing, including IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service); and in software engineering methods, with a focus on reliability and service quality. The lab hosts two annual well-recognized conferences in the areas of ICT infrastructure (Systor) and system quality and test (HVC).

HRL is a key contributor to IBM cloud products, e.g., VMControl; and to IBM’s data centre networking strategy, e.g., the IBM DOVE network virtualization solution.

HRL is strongly involved in European R&D, most recently in the FI-Ware PPP project, in which HRL is the 3rd largest ICT partner, leading the Cloud Hosting work and contributing the network virtualization layer. Two recent FP7 IPs led by HRL are RESERVOIR (“Resources and Services Virtualisation without Barriers”), addressing the challenges of cloud-scale service deployment and cloud federation; and VISION (“Virtualized Storage Services for the Future Internet”), addressing the cloud storage challenges.

Role in the Project: HRL will provide a strategic direction to the COSIGN consortium and ensure that the innovation driven by the academic partners and the products developed by the hardware manufacturing partners as part of the COSIGN effort are aligned with the next generation virtualized data centre requirements. IBM will be deeply involved in all the technical aspects of the project and will lead the WP4, aiming at the converged orchestration of all the ICT resources inside the data centre, including the optical network resources. IBM will contribute to the dissemination of the COSIGN project results, their exploitation by the IBM data centre technologies, and their standardization.

OFS Denmark

OFS Denmark has been producing optical fibres since 1980 and is a world-leading supplier of transmission fibres for long haul terrestrial and ocean systems as well as specialty fibres including dispersion compensating fibres, rare earth doped fibres and highly non-linear fibres. OFS Denmark is part of the US based OFS group, which again is owned by Furukawa Electric Co, a major supplier of high quality active optical components.

OFS Denmark has tradition for strong focus on Research and Development. Besides strong collaboration with the corporate OFS-labs in the US and Furukawa-labs in Japan, OFS Denmark has strong relation with many national as well as international universities. OFS Denmark has for example been actively involved in two EU founded research project (PHASORS & ModeGap). OFS Denmark is also involved in a research collaboration with Cornell University founded by National Institute of Health in the US and with Boston University founded by DARPA.

Role in the Project: OFS Denmark’s contribution to the project will be together with ORC to develop and deliver to the partner the fibres required for the project. In the beginning of the project OFS will deliver SOTA multicore fibre and fan in/fan out developed by OFS in the US to the partners.

Interoute S.P.A. (IRT)

Interoute owns the largest Next Generation Network covering the European Union and Turkey, with nine subsea landing stations ringing the edge of Europe.

To the West, the network links to North America’s major telecoms hub. To the East, the network connects the Middle East to Europe through Dubai. In the South, Africa from Cape Town to Tunis connects directly to Europe through Interoute. Supported by 60,000 kilometres of fibre, 21 metropolitan area networks, 8 data centres and 32 co-location centres with local operations in the 26 largest cities of Europe, we serve customers in the 15 major languages of the EU.

Interoute provides a single platform for IT services integrated on a single infrastructure that reduces cost and optimises security, performance and efficiency. As a result, Interoute is key to Europe’s digital supply chain, serving all the major incumbent operators as well as enabling for corporate customers more than €1 billion of e-Commerce transactions daily through our network.

Consistently recognized as Europe’s leading provider of bandwidth and transmission services, Interoute is increasingly distinguished for enabling Cloud Computing across the European footprint.

Role in the project: Interoute (IRT) will lead Work Package 6 – Standardisation, dissemination and exploitation – and participate in WP1, where it will lead the definition of the requirements for next generation intra-DC networks and connection services, bringing the expertise of a virtual DC provider. From the same perspective, Interoute will contribute in WP1 to the overall architecture design and, in WP3, will support the functional specification of architectures and interfaces for the DC orchestrator, defining also a set of test cases for preliminary assessment. Finally, in WP5, Interoute will contribute in the planning and deployment of the project test bed and in the final validation and demonstration of the project results.