So one of the things that’s of growing importance in the networking community is creating an optical networking environment and an associated control plane that offers capacity-on-demand from authorized users/applications for usage that pushes beyond the capability afforded by even very fast packet-switched networks. For one perspective on this, and an idea of what sorts of usage might drive this need, there is a good paper from the folks working on the CHEETAH project. One of the pundits I follow very closely in the optical networking community is Bill St. Arnaud of the Canarie project. I get Bill’s newletters; he also maintains a column in LightReading. Earlier this month, Bill was at a NASA Research and Engineering Network meeting, and posted this very interesting perspective on the needs (or lack thereof) for such networking, as presented by a senior technologist at Level3.