Light Reading
Using existing fiber, the carrier will build its first national DWDM network, reaching into major metro areas.

Windstream Taps Infinera for National Buildout

Carol Wilson
3/10/2014
50%
50%

Windstream Communications today unveiled its plans to use Infinera's DTN-X optical gear to build its first national long-haul network based on DWDM.

The network announcement marks a major success for Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) and a significant step forward for Windstream Communications Inc. (NYSE: WIN), which has been assembling fiber optic assets through acquisition during the past few years and is now ready to hook them up. (See Infinera Lands Windstream DWDM Buildout.)

In this instance, the "national" aspect doesn't actually include the West Coast, although further acquisitions to push Windstream's physical assets beyond Denver, where they currently end, can be expected. For now, CTO Randy Nicklas, an industry veteran who led XO Communications Inc. s' national buildout, is focused on creating a network capable of supporting the massive growth in bandwidth from mobile backhaul, cloud services, business data networking, and even consumer broadband. (See Windstream Names Nicklas CTO.)

"We have bandwidth demands and we have an interesting fiber plant, concentrated in two-thirds of the country," Nicklas told Light Reading. "What we don't have is a national long-haul DWDM network. We have chosen Infinera and the DTN-X to build that network, hitting major metro areas, to match our existing regional roadmap. It's a great platform for our needs."

Windstream is clearly standing up to compete more aggressively, in delivering a wide variety of services and in connecting its 27 data centers to build its cloud offerings as well. (See Windstream Makes Regional Cloud Play.)

Specifically, Nicklas says, Windstream likes the ability to turn services up quickly using the Infinera box, especially the 100G wavelength services. Infinera's software uses the combination of its 500Gbit/s FlexCoherent superchannels and integrated 5Tbit/s optical switch to enable automated service delivery.

"Establishing an actual wavelength service is easier to do on an Infinera platform and that adds up for Windstream, because we are new to the long-haul intercity DWDM space," Nicklas says. "We don't have a lot of experience among our technical staff so ease of use was an important consideration as well as ease of deployment."

Windstream will not be deploying new long-haul fiber -- the company does add new fiber today but in what Nicklas terms "tributary" routes. One of its challenges will be knitting together a single network using physical fiber of many different types from its many acquisitions, which include Paetec, KDL, Iowa Telecom and more. (See Windstream's Plan for Paetec and Windstream Buys Iowa.)

"There are lots of challenges from having different fiber types," he says. "We are doing a small amount of moving existing lightwave systems off of fiber to clear the road, but for the most part, we are using fibers that were dormant."

That means turning up optical systems to test the fibers, repair breaks, and address issues such as too many splices.

"Basically, we have to keep building the track ahead of the train," Nicklas says.

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

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 4:38:51 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
"..how much does the average - non-Google, non-Netflix type enterprise grown annually in bandwidth?"

Interesting question, worth pursuing. 
brookseven
0%
100%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/10/2014 | 4:03:28 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
Carol,

I think you are beginning to see, but let me put it this way on policy management.  Just remember its programming the network, just like all the rest of this.  It will need to be really complete and very heavily tested.  

Of course, I am not a very nice man when it comes to my extremes of thinking about this.  The single most obvious implementation is for Disaster Recovery.  That makes sense as its a temporary, unplanned condition.  Unfortunately, that means dozens or hundreds of changes might be requested at the same time and might cause all kinds of circular conflict.  Here I am not thinking about a fire at a factory, but instead a Hurricane landing in say Washington DC (better place for one to go I can't imagine).

Which means all that extra resources might be gone.  Of course if you have built them and paid for them, how are you selling them when there is no disaster.  Using dynamic pricing like airlines and hotels?

Because where I have used Virtualization to save on Capex is in tuning my resources for these kinds of outages.  Hey I have a server or two go down, okay shove the extra load over here and hope for the best.  Hey its better than being totally down.  Lose a big chunk of capacity and we are SOL.  

One other thing about all this bandwidth that is being deployed.  Isn't it all for Netflix?  I mean how much does the average - non-Google, non-Netflix type enterprise grown annually in bandwidth?

seven

 

 

 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 2:28:12 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
I thought policy management would be used to prioritize network requests so the most important get fulfilled and the others get the best-effort response. 

But of course, by the time we get virtualization, we'll also have massive capacity upgrades so that scarcity of resources won't be as big an issue, right? Right?

As for union concerns about automation screw-ups, I constantly hear management concerns about human screw-ups. It will be interesting to see where this meets in the middle. 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/10/2014 | 1:24:50 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
They pursue the automation at the tech level...then it hits ops...and dies.

The problem is troubleshooting and inventory.  I think that is the challenge of change.

Let me pose a problem...Suppose a network has an SDN request or an NFV request that it can't fulfill or if it does fulfill it will screw up another customer?

In a data center, which is essentially 100% connected with massive pipes that is not a problem.  In a network which has fixed resources and sparse connectivity not so simple.

There are also union issues. Union workers don't want to be blamed for the screwups of automation.  This is a bigger issue than you might think as it makes them resist using automation.

Smaller carriers tend to have things overcome by the lack of people to care quite so much.

seven

 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 12:50:03 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
On the automation thing - every network operator, large and small, says they are pursuing automation of manual processes. Why is that bad for larger carriers? I understand the loss of control but aren't many of these processes things that don't involve a lot of variation? 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 12:48:36 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
Seven,

I don't honestly know the impact this will have on Cyan. Randy Nicklas says Windstream continues to built out the tributary network pieces that feed into this long-haul network and that would be positive for Cyan. But the projections from Cyan have indicated shrinking business with Windstream. 

Carol
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/10/2014 | 12:30:57 PM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
1 Comment - 1 Question:

Provisioning Simplicity:  I have seen this as a big postiive in small carriers and in many ways a huge negative in the large ones.  The simplicity implies automation which means loss of control.  I think we will have to see how this evolves.

Question:  Think this is a positive or negative for Cyan given that Cyan has been heavily dependent on Windstream.

seven

 
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 10:40:55 AM
Re: Time and time again - provisioning speed
As Randy Nicklas notes, it's a major thing for service providers to be able to automate these processes because they can't throw the technical manpower at the problem. 

I think the ease of provisioning issues are going to loom large and the vendors that solve them are going to be successful. 
Ray@LR
100%
0%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 8:38:57 AM
Time and time again - provisioning speed
Righyt fom the very first engagements, the reaction from operators re Infinera's gear has been that it is comparatively simple to deploy, turn on and then use to quickly provision services.

That's gotta be a winning long-term position, right? 
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   |   (3) comments


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