& cplSiteName &

DT's All-Cisco, No-Optical Network

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

The new Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) architecture, TeraStream, skips using optical equipment and might be using a new Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) 100Gbit/s optical interface, according to a description from a source familiar with the specifics.

DT is also taking advantage of the IPv6 header for storing policy-related information, thus letting services assign policy based on a quick glance at the header.

It's no surprise that TeraStream would try some newfangled ideas. That was the point, after all. TeraStream is a modernized architecture that runs on IPv6 only -- no ATM or Frame Relay -- and exploits cloud-networking concepts. All services in the network are handled by virtual appliances in the data center, an arrangement that smacks of software-defined networking (SDN).

The first TeraStream rendition is running in Croatia, where Hrvatski Telekom, a DT subsidiary, is using it to deliver residential services. The pilot went live on Dec. 10. (See DT's Croatia Unit Taps Cisco.)

Cisco, which is supplying the TeraStream gear, made that announcement and detailed quite a bit about TeraStream's inner workings. For instance, Cisco is supplying the data centers for TeraStream, basing them on the Unified Computing System (UCS) architecture.

But our source, who didn't want to be named, seems to think the finer points of TeraStream have gone unappreciated. So let's take a look at what's under the hood.

No Optics Allowed (Almost)
TeraStream goes whole hog with IP over DWDM (IPoDWDM), meaning the optical transceivers are directly on the routers, eliminating the need for transponder shelves. There are no optical subsystems in the network at all, save for passive splitters and EDFAs, according to the source.

Those IPoDWDM interfaces apparently run at 100 Gbit/s, which brings up the possibility that they're based on Cisco's new, homemade transceiver format called the CPAK. It's a smaller alternative to the CFP, and it's come out earlier than the CFP2, the "official" smaller-than-CFP format.

Cisco hasn't officially acknowledged the CPAK, but as of November, sources inside the company were telling Light Reading its launch was imminent.

If CPAK isn't already in TeraStream, it's probably going to get there soon; the source says DT is hoping the use of silicon photonics will bring 100Gbit/s and 400Gbit/s pluggable transceivers below the $10,000 level. CPAK is assumed to be using silicon photonics that Cisco acquired with Lightwire. (See Lightwire Points Cisco Toward 100G and Silicon Photonics Signals Red Alert for 100G .)

The TeraStream architecture was drawn up by Peter Löthberg and Guenter Honisch, the source speculates. Honisch is part of DT's office of the CTO, while Löthberg is an optical networking legend known for, among other things, bringing a 40Gbit/s connection to his mom's house.

Here's the full text of what Light Reading was sent last week. We've broken it into paragraphs for readability.

Terastream, believed to be the brainchild of Lothberg & Honisch, completely integrates the whole carrier network and datacenter.

The network is designed with only two layers of routers. One set of routers are used for customer aggregation and all policy, and the other to combine the functions for core, peering and datacenter switching/interconnect. The internal network is IPv6 only.

Traffic type is encoded into the IPv6 addresses, allowing policy processing for different services through a single ip lookup (eg. labels moved to the addresses).

All the transport links in the network use 100G coherent optics tightly integrated with the routers. One can guess Lothberg is behind this and some information indicates that he is working on the assumption that silicon-optics will be able to make pluggable 100G/400G transceiver for less than $10K. The design has removed all optical subsystems and reduced the whole transport to passive splitters and EDFA amplifiers in a completely colorless drop-and waste model.

All protection is IPv6 based. QOS model is turned around with bidirectional policing at the edges.

Two modes of operation are provided, one IPv6 native and the other a Metro-Ethernet MEF compliant customer facing service utilizing IPv6 transport encapsulation and full Y.1731 support.

By using IPv6 the design can interconnect a network endpoint directly to an application running on a VM in the cloud datacenter, IPv6 also allows direct addressing of a logical port, rather than having content context in the encapsulation header.

All traditional network services are moved from the network to the network-centric datacenters. In a presentation done by Honisch he said the services were provided by "virtual appliances" and indicated that "buying appliances and service blades as a software license."

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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 Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.