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Calient Unveils Optical SDN Controller

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Calient Technologies, Inc., the global leader for optical circuit switching technology, today announced a new software controller developed to facilitate dynamic reconfiguration of the optical network layer in cloud data center facilities.

The new Optical Topology Management Controller, built using the OpenDayLight framework, also lays the foundation for hybrid network fabrics in which Calient’s S-Series optical circuit switches augment third-party packet-based networks.

In modern cloud data centers, more than 60 percent of traffic is comprised of highly persistent traffic flows that require expensive, high-capacity networks for fast and efficient delivery. These “elephant” flows, typically caused by data replications, storage migrations, and movements of big data sets in Hadoop distributed file systems, can overflow buffers on packet switches, negatively impacting smaller, equally important and latency-sensitive "mouse" flows.

The first release of Calient’s Software-Defined Network (SDN)-based Optical Topology Management Controller allows efficient optical topologies to be built on demand, optimizing access to compute and storage nodes to achieve maximum utilization of these critical resources.

With the addition of traffic analysis and traffic engineering capabilities (planned for early 2015), the controller will support the full hybrid packet-optical network, in which the optical layer is reconfigured dynamically to create optical “express” paths that offload highly persistent traffic flows from the L2/3 packet network.

This means that applications and traffic pattern analysis algorithms will be able to drive the optical layer topology to achieve the highest levels of throughput and efficiency, thereby relieving the layer 2/3 network to efficiently deliver the more transient traffic. Pure optical circuit switched networks also offer tremendous cost savings – typically 80 percent less expensive than L2/3 solutions at 100 Gbit/s.

The new Calient controller will be used in conjunction with the company’s S-Series family of optical circuit switches. The S320 flagship is a 320-port optical circuit switch used to create an all-optical network fabric with total throughput of more than 32 terabits per second.

The Calient Software Defined Optical Topology Manager will be available for proof-of-concept testing and system integration with third party controller solutions starting January 2015. Additional functionality to enable full hybrid packet-optical networks will be announced in first quarter 2015.

Calient Technologies Inc.

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