Light Reading

Ciena Introduces Management Tools to Make Networks Flexible

Mitch Wagner
7/9/2014
50%
50%

Ciena today introduced WAN management software designed to help carriers provide meet the unpredictable bandwidth demands of today's enterprise and cloud customers.

The Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) Agility Multilayer WAN Controller is designed to allow carriers to optimize wide-area networks. It's built on the OpenDaylight SDN controller, to enhance interoperability with other vendors' hardware and software. Ciena, which recently won Light Reading's Leading Lights award this year for Best New Product (Telecom) for its WaveLogic Photonics, first talked about its SDN controller plans in March this year. (See Ciena Develops an SDN Controller, Leading Lights Awards 2014: The Winners, and Defining SDN & NFV.)

The Agility controller will work with four apps to handle different elements of network configuration:

Navigate automatically determines the best possible route through the network to establish a connection.

Protect determines alternate routes in case the initial route runs into problems.

Optimize defragments the network to free up available resources by reallocating capacity and fine-tuning connection routing.

V-WAN allows enterprise and cloud customers to schedule their own bandwidth on demand through end-user portals or applications such as a cloud or NFV orchestration system.

V-WAN has its own applications, including MyPerformance, for performance monitoring; MyPortal, a web portal application to allow customers to request bandwidth on demand and verify delivery and performance; and MyAdapter and On-Demand Service VPNs.

MyAdapter plugs into enterprise or cloud network applications to allow the carrier customers' applications to request bandwidth automatically. For example, an enterprise customer using VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) software to manage multiple cloud datacenters might use MyAdapter to allow VMware to automatically request bandwidth as needed.

MyAdapter can also orchestrate across multiple domains, automating bandwidth allocations between local metro network operators, regional providers or exchange providers, and datacenter cloud operators such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Azure. "The enterprise doesn't need a permanent connection to a particular cloud operator. They can at will select who they want to connect to, and just pay for the amount of capacity from their datacenter to the cloud operator for a particular transaction," says Mitch Auster, Ciena senior director, market development.

Finally, On-Demand Service VPNs allows carriers' customers to set up virtual WANS between multiple sites, scheduling resources on an as-needed basis.

The Agility software suite is entering trials with Tier 1 operators, and will be available later this year.

I pumped Auster for information about interoperability with other vendor solutions. I've been hung up on this subject since the weekend, when I came across this conversation on the Software Defined Networking Group on LinkedIn. Greg Whalen, a management consultant with Greywale Management, asks: "If everyone is selling a 'single pane of glass' solution don't you end up with multiple 'single panes of glass'?"

I asked Auster if the Ciena software will work with other vendors' products. He said it will -- that's why they used OpenDaylight as the basis for the product. The Agility controller supports the OpenDaylight Service Abstraction Layer, allowing multiple vendor management programs to interoperate with the Agility software.

We went back and forth, with Auster declining to name specific names of any other vendors' whose products the Ciena software will work with. He kept pointing back to Agility's compliance with the OpenDaylight standard. But of course compliance with standards is only a start -- interoperability requires real-world testing.

As Auster resisted naming names, my malarkey-meter was on red alert. It looked like this:

But then Auster said Ciena will offer professional services to ensure that its products work with other products used by its network operator customers.

So there's that. Network operators will have the opportunity to ensure the Ciena software works on their own network configurations before they buy.

Auster and I also got into some interesting discussion of the business and technology conditions that are placing new demands for flexibility on carrier networks. But this article has gone on long enough -- I'll save that discussion for another article, coming soon.

More about Ciena:

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mhhf1ve
100%
0%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/9/2014 | 10:23:38 PM
who would want to name competitors when promoting their products..?
I don't blame Ciena reps for not wanting to name which of their competitors that they'll be compatible with.. ultimately, compatibility may not be up to them -- and why promote competitors?

 
mauster
100%
0%
mauster,
User Rank: Lightning
7/9/2014 | 3:38:15 PM
Vendor interop with Ciena OpenDaylight-based SDN controller and apps
Thanks for the story, Mitch (great name by the way). I thought it might be helpful to clarify the issue of vendor interoperability. You actually brought up the key point in your story: vendors creating 'restricted to members only' ego-systems with a single pane of glass – one for each siloed ego-system!

 

That is exactly what we're helping network operators avoid with OpenDaylight, which offers a single pane of glass that belongs to the whole industry. Any network element vendor can develop and offer up their own plug-in to that service abstraction layer (SAL), without asking Ciena or anyone else for permission or instructions. The same goes for control layer modules that add value to or improve upon the open source baseline. Since OpenDaylight is an open, vendor-neutral ecosystem that doesn't restrict value creation (and accretion) to the vendor supplying the ODL-based controller, third-party vendors are happy to contribute.  The fully open approach makes things easier on a technical level, and makes things work on a commercial dynamics level for both vendors and operators.

 

Will network operators or their partners, such as Ciena, need to test to make sure things work together? Sure, but with a common model-driven framework, open APIs and the SAL that becomes a much quicker and simpler task than doing so with proprietary management systems as in the past – and also a lot more palatable to vendors as proprietary management systems always belonged to some other vendor.  As Carol Wilson reported a couple days ago, I'd mentioned on a Big Telecom Event panel that Ciena recently demonstrated successful interoperability of our controller with a top router vendor (using NETCONF/YANG, btw) in a lab trial with a Tier 1 operator with less than 2 weeks effort. Immediate efforts are in such contexts with customers so we have some constraints right now on what we can comment in detail. But as this aspect is important we will continue to push and to help operators benefit quickly from contributions from the whole community. A very large number of vendors are participating in OpenDaylight, so operators expect the components under that single pane of glass to build rapidly – and so do we.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment