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Ciena Unveils Packetwave Switching Platform

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HANOVER, Md. -- Combining the best technologies from both data center networks and metro networks, Ciena® (NYSE: CIEN), the network specialist, is introducing its programmable 8700 Packetwave Platform, a multi-terabit switching solution that will transform how metro and inter-data center networks are designed, deployed, and operated.

Coupling high-capacity Ethernet switching with intelligent coherent optics and an open software paradigm, this new platform will enable network operators to scale their networks in support of "on-demand" applications such as cloud services, streaming video, and content distribution which continue to drive demand for 10GbE/100GbE services.

The 8700 represents the first in what Ciena believes will be a new class of networking product to help network operators rapidly deliver high-capacity services, efficiently aggregate users, and provide express connections to data centers.

The platform seamlessly integrates 100GbE and 10GbE packet aggregation and switching, taking advantage of the performance and efficiency of modern merchant silicon, with Ciena's industry-leading 100G WaveLogic coherent optics and photonic technologies. The result is a system that significantly reduces capital and operational expenses, carrying up to twice the density and requiring only half the power and space when compared to alternative approaches, while also simplifying training and services management.

The 8700 supports the industry's drive toward software-defined and virtualized networks and carries the attributes of Ciena's OPn® architecture into metropolitan, regional, and inter-data center WAN networks. OPn metro networks built using the 8700 will equip network operators with the ability to capitalize on the benefits of programmable, virtualized networking platforms while providing unmatched quantity and quality of bandwidth to the network edge.

According to the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), Ethernet is the fastest growing service segment and is projected to generate more than US$ 40B in global revenue by 2015. In addition, the cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market will be $8.2 B worldwide in 2015 and growing 38 percent per year, according to 451 Research.

Ciena's 8700 integrates Ethernet and MPLS-TP switching with Ciena's WaveLogic Photonics into a single, scalable platform that enables simpler, more cost-effective networks without stranding switch capacity. It leverages Ciena's Service-Aware Operating System, OneControl Unified Management System, and SLA portal allowing customers to seamlessly manage an entire portfolio of Ciena solutions and network services -- from edge to core. The 8700 can also be deployed in conjunction with Ciena's V-WAN software to give customers performance-on-demand cloud service connectivity.

Taking the best of both data center and metro technologies, Ciena's 8700 Packetwave Platform is purpose-built and optimized to handle the bandwidth created by the on-demand world of cloud computing, streaming video, content distribution, and content creation. The 8700 supports the following applications:

  • High-capacity 10GbE to 100GbE Ethernet aggregation and switching over DWDM applications to support reliable and secure high-bandwidth services.

  • Packet applications including MPLS-TP, G.8032 Ethernet rings, and IEEE 802.1ad (QinQ) for more resilient and scalable architectures.

  • 40GbE/100GbE service demarcation support for differentiated MEF 2.0 compliant services.

  • Automated virtual cross-connect, enabling exchange operators to offer enterprise customers on-demand direct connectivity to cloud providers and network operators with collocated PoPs to greatly reducing cross-connect provisioning time to just minutes.

The 8700 Packetwave Platform will be generally available in the summer of 2014. The platform has garnered significant traction with several leading service providers and network operators across the globe, including Fibertech Networks.

More than 250 network operators rely on Ciena's packet networking portfolio to deliver the programmable and responsive bandwidth that their customers demand. With more than 500,000 devices deployed world-wide, Ciena's packet networking portfolio equips providers with greater speed -- not just in terms of growing bandwidth, but also speed throughout the entire service life-cycle to address key challenges such as improving service turn-up and reducing overall customer churn.

"10GbE is a major force, and 100GbE is upticking its long term growth curve in metro networks," said Michael Howard, Principal Analyst & Co-Founder, Infonetics. "We believe Ciena's new 8700 Packetwave hits a clear design point for handling the nexus of 10G/100G Ethernet aggregation onto DWDM. Since it is the first product of its kind to combine leading optics with scalable, programmable Ethernet switching, we expect that service providers will want to consider the platform for tackling the growing complexity of router-based networks, while at the same time addressing the need to cut power and space costs."

"The metro network is the new battleground and we are taking the best of the data center with the best of the metro to create a new, disruptive market opportunity and set the benchmark for metro core network builds," Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior Vice President, Global Products Group, Ciena. "Our 8700 Packetwave Platform builds on our established leadership in packet networking, leveraging the convergence of carrier-grade packet switching and aggregation along with coherent optical networking and programmability to help transform metro networks into 'on-demand' platforms that can provide greater customization of communication services and applications."

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)

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