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We present a solution for IP-centric communication at the optical layer through a combination of a hardware platform and algorithmic implementation. The presented approach, termed light-trails, is shown to yield a reconfigurable networking platform in which optical connections of arbitrary duration can be established and torn down flexibly in negligible time, accommodating the dynamic traffic requirements of the IP world. The hardware platform and protocol are evaluated with tractabledoi:10.1364/jon.3.000261 fatcat:jqq5soitpvbtdlxopvscyye7le