This paper defines a new multi-layered architecture for supporting optical burst switching (OBS) in an optical core network. The architecture takes into account both the control plane as well as the data plane. The paper describes the functionality and the primary protocols that are required at each layer and it explains how the layers interact with each other in the proposed architecture. This paper also identifies some of the challenges and issues surrounding the development of OBS networks, such as data burst scheduling, contention resolution mechanism, supporting QoS, and handling TCP/IP, and provides a brief survey of proposed OBS protocols
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