Providing resilient inter-domain connections in multi-domain optical GMPLS networks is a challenge. On the one hand, the integration of different GMPLS domains to run traffic engineering operations requires the development of a framework for inter-domain routing and control of connections, while keeping the internal structure and available resources of the domains undisclosed to the other operators. On the other hand, the definition of mechanisms to take advantage of such automatically switched inter-domain connectivity is still an open issue. This article focuses on the analysis of applicability of one of these mechanisms: P-cycle-based protection. The proposed solution is based on the decomposition of the multi-domain resilience problem into two sub-problems, namely, the higher level inter-domain protection and the lower level intra-domain protection. Building a P-cycle at the higher level is accomplished by certain tasks at the lower level, including straddling link connection, capacity allocation and path selection. In this article, we present several methods to realize inter-domain P-cycle protection at both levels and we evaluate their performance in terms of availability and spent resources. A discussion on a proposal of implementation of signalling based on extensions of existing protocols such as RSVP-TE and the PCE architecture illustrates the practical viability of the approach.
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