& cplSiteName &

Cisco's Core Router Gets Optical Genes

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
10/2/2012
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is adding a multilayer control plane to its CRS-3 core routers, opening the possibility of programming the IP and optical layers to react to one another.

The technology, called nLight, is revealed Tuesday as Cisco announces two CRS-3 wins in central Europe: with Czech research network CESnet and with telecom and data-center provider Global TeleSystems Inc. (GTS) (NYSE/Frankfurt: GTS).

A bit of hardware goes hand-in-hand with nLight: a 100Gbit/s IP-over-DWDM transponder for the CRS-3, using coherent optical technology acquired with CoreOptics in 2010. The releases imply CESnet and GTS are using that transponder but don't say much else about how they're taking advantage of nLight. (See Cisco Renews Optical Focus With CoreOptics.)

The bigger story behind nLight is the ability to provision the optical and IP planes at once, using the existing suite of Cisco Prime provisioning software -- or even to define relationships between the planes. The CRS series didn't offer that kind of visibility before, says Sanjeev Mervana, senior product director in Cisco's service provider group.

It might sound a little like GMPLS, but that technology -- which lets the Layer 2 network define circuits across the optical network -- was just a "foundational point" in packet/optical integration, Mervana says.

"What we need is much more than that. You need information about when you want to turn on that circuit," Mervana says. Alternatively, when there's a failure in a wavelength's path, you would want the Layer 2 network to learn about it immediately, he says. This is the kind of programming Cisco expects to make possible with nLight (which is available on CRS-1 routers, too).

Converging the layers is likely to become more common as packet and optical transport more frequently find themselves in the same equipment. Cyan Inc. has been offering multilayer planning and management as part of its Cyan 360 software package.

Other router tricks
Cisco is announcing out a couple of other features for the CRS-3.

One is the ability to connect two CRS-3 chassis back-to-back to behave as one router. Before, you needed a switching shelf -- another 7-foot rack worth of CRS-3 -- to connect multiple chassis of the core router.

The back-to-back attachment is something the Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) Extensible Routing System (XRS) 7950 -- a Leading Lights finalist -- can also do. It's one of the features AlcaLu crowed about when the router launched in May.

Cisco can still boast that AlcaLu can't connect three or more routers as a single logical router, while AlcaLu can counter that such implementations are rare -- and that its multichassis shelf is on the way, in any event. (You know the drill ... see Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Clash Over Core Routers.)

Finally, Cisco is giving the CRS-3 an 80Gbit/s services engine -- a card for running services such as denial-of-service protection. Previous service cards for the router only ran to 20 Gbit/s.

Neither the back-to-back ability nor the 80Gbit/s card are available for the CRS-1.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:20:01 PM
re: Cisco's Core Router Gets Optical Genes


The converged packet/optical control plane seems like it's going to be commonplace in a few years.  I think Cyan is onto something there, and now Cisco is talking about it ... and I would guess (based on zero knowledge, just a guess) that Ciena would head that way with OneConnect eventually.

joferrei
50%
50%
joferrei,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:20:00 PM
re: Cisco's Core Router Gets Optical Genes


"you need information about when you want to turn on that circuit," Mervana says.


What type of control algorithm/mechanism is being used? What triggers reconfiguration of optical (or often layer 1, digital) circuits? What is the time granularity?

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:58 PM
re: Cisco's Core Router Gets Optical Genes


Craig,


I think that combining the Packet and Optical Control planes is a huge problem organizationally and network planning wise within carriers.  Not only are there technical challenges but huge network operational issues (Suppose a router bug screws up your optical network for example).  If this happens in deployment at a Tier 1 carrier (Cyan at smaller carriers is different), I would be surprised anytime soon.


Also the characterization of GMPLS is not exactly accurate.


seven


 

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Digital Transformation Forum 2017

2|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Here's a preview of the upcoming Huawei Digital Transformation Forum taking place in Barcelona with trending telecom topics like cloud, IoT, 5G and much more!
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Dan Sahar of Qwilt on Open Edge Cloud Platform

2|8|17   |   08:38   |   (0) comments


Dan Sahar, Qwilt's co-founder, sits down with Steve Saunders of Light Reading for a conversation about Qwilt's Open Edge Cloud platform and the new role of service providers in application and content delivery.
LRTV Documentaries
ZeroStack's 'Self-Driving Cloud'

2|7|17   |   01:09   |   (0) comments


Its Z-Brain tech automates day-to-day management and long-term planning for hybrid clouds.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum's Craig Sprosts on DNS & Cybersecurity Trends

2|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


Nominum's Craig Sprosts talks about the fast-changing landscape of cybersecurity with Steve Saunders of Light Reading. Sprosts touches on the trend of the rise of ransomwares, rivals of IoT base attacks, and mobile network security. He also discusses the realization of the importance of IoT security after a recent cyber attack that paralyzed several major ...
LRTV Documentaries
China Moves Towards Mixed Ownership of Telcos

2|1|17   |   01:10   |   (0) comments


Chinese authorities are promoting new ownership models in order to raise capital.
Shades of Ray
What to Expect at MWC 2017

1|31|17   |     |   (0) comments


5G is set to dominate as the key buzz term at this year's Mobile World Congress but there are other pressing 4G matters to address.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO: M&A Coming but Not Quite Yet
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/14/2017
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
Charter Launches 5G Field Trials
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/16/2017
Cloudifying the Communications Network
Prayson Pate, CTO, Ensemble, ADVA Optical Networking, 2/16/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.