Fault tolerance is one of the most desirable properties in the optical network since a large amount of data will be lost if the failure recovery cannot be well achieved. The software-defined network is an innovative paradigm—which decouples the control module from the underlying data forwarding plane—to make fast decisions on detecting and restoring link failures. Therefore, we focus on failure recovery solutions based on software-defined optical networks. The out-of-band control mechanism is utilized for the communication between the controller and the data forwarding elements. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed solutions—including a failure detection scheme, a dynamic all pairs shortest paths algorithm, and a failure recovery application—based on our software-defined optical network platform. Experimental demonstration and numerical evaluation both show its overall feasibility and efficiency.