Light Reading
Adoption of a global connectivity standard was a game-changer for telecom networks that need to stay open as they embrace virtualization

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
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 Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (1) comment


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together 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, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
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
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection – That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive