Light Reading

DT's All-Cisco, No-Optical Network

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
12/17/2012
50%
50%

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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
PSA: The Perils of a Hyper-Connected Society

7|6|15   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


A public service announcement calling attention to the perils of a hyper-connected society.
LRTV Interviews
Guavus Takes Analytics on the Road

7|6|15   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina tells Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders how the analytics tools developed for telcos are applicable to the transportation industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Equinix walks through the past four digital economy eras from computing to network to connected to today's interconneted world.
Hot Topics
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
IoT in Action
, 6/30/2015
FCC Chairman Talks Up SDN/NFV
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/2/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones