ECI Pins On Its 100G Badge
Having gone relatively quiet in recent times, Israeli network equipment vendor ECI Telecom is still very active in the packet/optical market and even says some of its more recent successes have included 100-Gbit/s deployments.
The company went private in 2007, and since then it hasn't needed to announce its financials or disclose every move it makes to investors. But every now and then it sticks its hand up to announce major changes, such as a new CEO, or new product line developments, with its most recent major portfolio shift coming about a year ago when it unveiled its Optimized Multi-Layer Transport (OMLT) platform and associated Apollo line of optical backbone products.
Since then there have been a few OMLT deployment announcements, though none of them significant enough to cause a stir. (See Romanian Operator Does 100G With ECI, ECI's OMLT Chosen by German Research Network and Utility Trials ECI's 100G Apollo.)
ECI, though, says it has more than 15 customers in total, some of which are using the converged packet/optical platform for 100 Gbit/s, and it hopes to be able to announce some of those deployments in the coming months.
In December, ECI announced a family of metro transport products based on the OMLT platform, with those products becoming generally available early this year.
Wait and see on SDN
So what is ECI's take on software-defined networking (SDN), given that a number of rival transport equipment vendors are embracing that new approach to network architectures? (See Optical SDN Gets a Test Run, Optical Transport Gets an SDN Idea, SoftCOM: Huawei's Take on SDN and Software-Defined Optical Networks.)
The vendor says it is "closely watching the developments and standardization activities for SDN. ... There are still many question marks on how SDN will fit to transport networks and we have a special team that was assigned to find the best use cases for SDN and how to implement it."
So far, though, ECI has not been peppered with requests from network operators about its SDN plans. However, should optical SDN take off, the ECI team believes its current product architecture -- "simple MPLS-TP network elements [coupled with] an intelligent central network management system" -- makes it "closely aligned with the SDN approach," which would make any alignments with any SDN standards "relatively easy" to implement, according to the vendor.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading