Light Reading

BTE Bits: A Packet-Optical Review

Dan O'Shea

A few random observations as I scan my notes, remember conversations (or try to) and just generally try to make sense of Light Reading's recent Big Telecom Event:

  • Two companies situated right next to one another in the Packet Optical Zone on the demo floor -- Ekinops SAS and ECI Telecom Ltd. -- had something in common. Both are based in other parts of the world -- Ekinops in France, ECI in Israel -- but are gearing up organizationally and strategically, beefing up their sales approaches and products, to pursue more business opportunities in North America, particularly the US. (See Ekinops Entices 100G Metro Market.)

    Many other vendors from outside the US have tried and failed to accomplish the same over the years, but a new round of reasons has cropped up -- packet-optical convergence, 100G metro optical, trial opportunities for technologies beyond 100G -- to entice a new group of vendors. ECI, for its part, already has made some progress, announcing just prior to BTE that it had landed Michigan carrier Comlink as a customer.

  • Between Ekinops, ECI and MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC), we may have a job-hunters market for optical sector sales talent. All three spoke of sales staffs that are growing, or have been recently enlarged or made over. For their sake, the packet-optical and 100G metro optical market buzz had better be for real. (See Euronews: ECI Telecom Restructures.)

  • MPLS-TP was a hot topic a couple years ago, and seemed to fade, but it's not nearly dead, according to many vendors at BTE. There was some question when Ciena recently launched a packet-optical metro platform with Ethernet and MPLS-TP switching how viable the technology was. But several folks I spoke with at BTE said they have it in their products, and claimed deployments around the world, indicating carriers are interested in the predictable transport performance and management capabilities it brings to packet networks. (See Ciena Stirs Up the Metro Market and ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer.)

  • Packet-optical convergence, without a doubt, was one of the hottest topics of discussion at BTE. Numerous vendors and at least a couple of carriers offered variations on the same basic statement: "It's really happening now."

    The BTE panel, "P-OTS 2.0: Reaping the Benefits," moderated by Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin, was a popular destination for those wanting to discuss the packet-optical evolution. The discussion, however, quickly turned from P-OTS 2.0 to P-OTS 3.0, a shiny new version of the acronym offered up by Zeev Draer, vice president of strategic marketing at MRV. P-OTS 3.0, according to Draer, will be characterized by packet-oriented transport; integrated packet and circuit switching; IP, MPLS, Carrier Ethernet and OTN framing; 100G MSA-based interfaces; SyncE timing and synchronization; multi-layer OAM; ROADM and hybrid SDN support.

  • In another panel moderated by Perrin, "Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks," panelists debated the viability of OpenFlow for transport networks. There was some concern, voiced by a couple of panelists and audience members, about the possibility that SDN actually could add more network complexity, rather than reduce it, and increase security challenges, with the addition of potentially numerous software interfaces.

    Panelist Glenn Wellbrock, director of optical transport network architecture and design at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), cooled some of those fears, but also made clear the broader challenge: "With SDN, we can automate a lot of antiquated, manual processes and tools, so it's an improvement. But we need to be able to do that with our existing back office, without changing back office elements every time we add a new vendor. If we have to do that, this whole transition will fail."

This is just a taste of what I heard and saw at BTE. More to come in a future blog post.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from DOS Attack
Ciena and ADVA separately show off the ability for their new data center interconnect gear to address a variety of distance needs.
The utility industry is keeping TDM alive, but maybe not for much longer.
Vendor CEOs make a lot of money, but we have a list of those who made more than most.
Growing security threats are set to drive critical infrastructure operators to new investment and upgrades of their internal networks.
Mike Birck guided Tellabs for more than 30 years over a span of five decades.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (9) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.