Light Reading

Ciena's Alexander: The Future's Open

Carol Wilson
9/20/2013
50%
50%

Ethernet has been a major change element for the telecom world, and it has set a new standard for openness that telecom carriers need to continue to expand. So says Steve Alexander, CTO and senior vice president for Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and a keynote speaker at the upcoming Ethernet and SDN Expo Oct. 2-3 at the Javits Center in New York.

Ciena's Steve Alexander: 'Ethernet is one of the things that can change that world.'
Ciena's Steve Alexander: "Ethernet is one of the things that can change that world."

Alexander plans to bring that message to his presentation, "The Experience of Openness," in large part because he sees the telecom industry poised for a dramatic shift. He told us opening up the network will be crucial.

It's time to open up the network. If you look at what has been accomplished in the conventional IT space, there is open compute, open storage, but there really isn't open networking yet. It is time for connect, computer, and store to come together in all their glory of opening up to build a better programmable platform that people can build businesses on, that applications and services can be built on.

In the past, service providers and supporting vendors attempted to implement standards that enabled open interconnection (Sonet/SDH is a case in point). By the time those standard systems hit the market, they were commonly burdened with vendor-specific enhancements that made interconnection difficult and sometimes impossible. "Historically, that has been very common, but Ethernet is one of the things that can change that world."

Ethernet has had a dramatic impact on carrier networks in recent years, because it represents a global standard that is the same in China as in the US, and it imposes very different expectations on the network for openness, Alexander said.

That doesn't mean vendors won't make enhancements that let their boxes do certain things better. The change here is that now there is an established adopted technology that drives people to opening up connectivity in a way that has never happened before. And specifically, I would point to converged packet-optical, which generally means Ethernet infrastructure, WDM infrastructure, coherent infrastructure, all of those things rolled up into one -- that's a huge enabler for change.

The combination of Ethernet connectivity worldwide and coherent optical over which Ethernet can connect has created a powerful change force in the network. The move to virtualization is the next step, and the industry needs to get it right.

We are at the beginning of a generational shift. We always say that photonics was a revolution 40 years in the making. It has taken all this time to get to this confluence of technologies -- coherent plus the Ethernet in a converged packet-optical approach, the emergence of SDN, OpenFlow, and NFV -- they are all kind of coming in at the right time. And you have basic desire to have connect, compute, and store come together to build a better machine.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading


Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to the Ethernet & SDN Expo, a Light Reading Live event taking place Oct. 2-3 at the Javits Center in New York City. Co-located with Interop, Light Reading's Ethernet & SDN Expo will focus on how the convergence of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 with emerging carrier software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies could change the whole telecom landscape for service providers. For more information, or to register, click here.


(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
9/21/2013 | 12:06:51 PM
A rare occasion
So, this is one of those rare occasions when a true global standard meets market opportunity and technology innovation at the right time. Still, it took a lot of service providers of a certain type to come around to that standard.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
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
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
MWC: Let the Madness Begin
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.