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Ciena, Brocade Take a Dynamic View of WAN

Dan O'Shea

For the better part of a year, Ciena has been preaching the need to make network resources as open and programmable as computing and storage resources are in the data center IT environment. Now the optical vendor's new, jointly developed solution with Brocade puts it more into practice.

At EMC World 2014 in Las Vegas this week, the companies are showing off application programming interfaces that enable dynamic resource provisioning (DRP) between cloud data centers, in much the same way computing and storage resources increasingly are being allocated inside the data center. (See Ciena, Brocade Enable Dynamic Cloud Provisioning.)

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) senior vice president Tom Mock says virtualization and SDN concepts like DRP are ready to be exploited on a broader level. "Why restrict your pool of virtualized resources to just one building? For the cloud to really work the way it's supposed to, you need to virtualize network resources and be able to move them around."

The jointly developed solution creates an interface between Ciena's V-WAN dynamic network transport application and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)'s Application Resource Broker to allow resources to be moved between data centers. It is set up to handle needs for capacity on demand, temporary disaster recovery, bursty cloud traffic, or similar situations. The broker was recently introduced as part of Brocade's On Demand Data Center strategy. (See Brocade Supports On-Demand Data Center.)

Ciena has been working for some time to enable resource flexibility. Last fall at Light Reading's Ethernet & SDN Expo, Ciena CTO Steve Alexander talked about the aim of making the network more programmable and getting network resources to work in concert with computing and storage resources for overall flexibility. Since then, Ciena has made several announcements playing into this vision, including a partnership with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), its work with Ericsson in the SDN controller segment, and upgrades to its portfolio to enhance optical layer programmability. (See Let's Get Open, Urges Ciena's CTO, Ericsson, Ciena Strike Strategic Global Agreement , OFC: Ciena Smartens Up Photonic Layer, and Ciena Develops an SDN Controller.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/8/2014 | 4:19:13 PM
Re: Not just Ciena
Hanging back and seeing how the SDN market shaped up makes sense. The first-mover advantage is largely a myth.
User Rank: Blogger
5/7/2014 | 11:13:14 AM
Re: Not just Ciena
Ciena's activity the last several months is kind of interesting because in they stayed out of the early SDN buzz to some degree. I think between the Ericsson partnership and this work with Brocade, we're seeing the first two of probably more developments and partnerships to come from Ciena around virtualization outside the data center.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/6/2014 | 11:37:52 AM
Not just Ciena

"For the better part of a year, Ciena has been preaching the need to make network resources as open and programmable as computing and storage resources are in the data center IT environment."

Not just Ciena. It's pretty much the standard pitch for SDN vendors. 

Moving resources dynamically between data centers would be valuable, if the WAN can handle the load. I'm not aware of any other vendor claiming to be able to do that. 

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