& cplSiteName &

Menara Pitches OTN Advances

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/25/2008
50%
50%

An optical transceiver startup is preaching the benefits of the Optical Transport Network (OTN) protocol, saying it's got a way to extend the technology to more parts of the network and so reduce the number of devices carriers need to deploy.

Menara Networks began shipping commercial products in 2007, but it's using this week's OFC/NFOEC as a coming-out party. Two of its transceivers cover the XFP and 300-pin formats, and a third works for the Xenpak and X2 standards.

What makes the parts special, Menara says, is that a lot of the OTN management software has been integrated into the transceivers without violating the respective multisource agreements (MSAs). "Now the transceivers are not just Layer 1 optical, passing bits," says CEO Siraj Nour El-Ahmadi.

On paper, that means systems vendors wouldn't need to worry about including OTN's management features on linecards. "Some of our customers are people who know nothing about systems. They know IP routers, SAN switches -- it would be difficult for them to integrate that software into those switches," El-Ahmadi says.

Building these modules was harder to do than it sounds, he claims. Off-the-shelf OTN chips from companies such as Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (Nasdaq: AMCC) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) don't yet fit inside an XFP module, so Menara had to develop its own chips.

"It was quite a bit more difficult than we thought -- the power constraints, the software," El-Ahmadi says. "It kicked our butts for four years."

Menara is hardly the only believer in OTN; companies like Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) have actively plugged it as the future of optical networking. Part of OTN's promise is to provide one transport envelope to carry both Sonet and Ethernet traffic, creating a chance for those networks to converge. (See Optical Expo: A Look Ahead.)

But Menara thinks it can add to the promise of OTN by removing some equipment from the network. For starters, DWDM OTN modules can eliminate the need for DWDM transponders in a network; wavelengths could come right off a router or switch.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has been among the companies championing that idea, but Menara claims it's the first company to offer it in a pluggable format.

Menara also thinks its products could make dedicated Ethernet demarcation equipment redundant, because its transceivers would provide a monitoring point carriers could use for fault isolation. Moreover, El-Ahmadi says the transceivers are able to calculate bit error rates on a link, something other Ethernet gear can't do.

This part of the plan would involve producing products at lower speeds, suitable for customer premises equipment. "Our plan is to extend this all the way to 100 Mbit/s, not just 10 Gbit/s," El-Ahmadi says.

Menara hasn't announced any customers yet, but El-Ahmadi says the company has been "working with" Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR).

The company was founded by old hands in optical networking: El-Ahmadi and chief technology officer Salam El-Ahmadi both came from Qtera, which was acquired by Nortel Networks Ltd. during the bubble. (See Nortel Completes Acquisition of Qtera .)

Menara has raised $19 million in two rounds of funding from Applied Materials Ventures , Concept Ventures , Sigma Partners , and Spark Capital Partners LLC .

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast 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 | 3:45:54 PM
re: Menara Pitches OTN Advances
We've put up a Startup Spotlight page for these guys:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

Full disclosure: Most of the information there is already in this story. Hopefully we'll be updating the Startup Spotlight page as Menara progresses, though.

I'm also intending to do one of those on Nistica, but it might be a couple weeks.

Any other companies we ought to spotlight? The newer, the better. Let us know: editors@lightreading.com.
NoCopper
50%
50%
NoCopper,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:29:46 PM
re: Menara Pitches OTN Advances
100M OTN?, for the OTN standard purists, this is quite a strange announcement. The lowest OTN line rate is OTU-1 which is around 2.7G. I am not aware of any plans in ITU-T to standardize a lower rate in the future.

Generally I think this approach is a good idea for GbE and 10G rates, but does anybody know whether these pluggables are OTN standard compliant?
nodak
50%
50%
nodak,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:29:37 PM
re: Menara Pitches OTN Advances
From the way the quote reads, I think he meant to say/typo 100G not 100M.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    LoRa Alliance Defends Tech Against Sigfox Slur
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.