Light Reading
The Ciena Agility Multilayer WAN Controller is designed to allow carriers to optimize wide-area networks for the needs of cloud and enterprise customers.

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
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed