& cplSiteName &

Ciena Stirs Up the Metro Market

Dan O'Shea
6/10/2014
50%
50%

The metro market is quickly being redefined as the data center interconnection market, and Ciena is rolling out a new metro transport platform aimed at not only providing the optical foundation for the metro, but also capable of multi-terabit switching of traffic between data centers.

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) today introduced its 8700 Packetwave platform, which integrates 100 Gigabit Ethernet and MPLS-TP packet switching with 100G coherent optics and photonics technologies. The platform also can be used with Ciena's V-WAN software for on-demand cloud service connectivity.

The platform, which generated some speculation last week when it was hinted at by Ciena executives during the company's earnings conference call, will be commercially available this summer. At least one Ciena customer -- Fibertech Networks -- already plans to deploy it. (See Ciena Unveils Packetwave Switching Platform and Ciena Hints at Big Product Announcement.)

Ciena appears to be making a bid to further shake up its traditional image as an optical specialist, and be considered more of a packet-optical player, but also to prove it can provide value in the fast-growing metro Ethernet market.

"We've taken the best of the data center and the best of metro optical, and put them together in one platform whose sole purpose in life is to aggregate and switch Ethernet traffic over DWDM between data centers," says Mike Adams, vice president of product and technical marketing at Ciena. "Metro networks need to be built differently, and we believe this product helps create a new marketplace."

Ciena is clearly excited about that data center connectivity marketplace, as are others, including other vendors with an optical heritage, and those that have a more packet-oriented view of the world, such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) (See Eurobites: ADVA Targets Inter-Data Center Connectivity and Transmode Intros Coherent 100G Metro 100G Plug-Ins.)

Ciena's timing is also significant, as metro networks appear on the verge of moving to 100 Gigabit Ethernet to support explosive bandwidth demand for data center interconnection and other applications. (See OTN Innovation Boosts Metro 100G.)

Anyone thinking Ciena was going to be taking on Cisco's NCS 4000 or Juniper's PTX3000, though, will probably be disappointed, believes Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin. (See Cisco Unveils Carrier SDN Network Fabric and Juniper Aims Big With 100G Optical.)

While the new 8700 product does boast both packet and optical capabilities, it's a "simple product -- a high-density Ethernet switch with DWDM optics attached, and I'm not sure how much demand there will be for those DWDM capabilities," says Perrin.

Perrin was expecting something a bit more exciting. "I think Ciena may have set expectations a bit too high. This is a simple product -- it doesn't have the higher-level packet functionality I was expecting -- MPLS-TP is not setting the market alight right now. Ciena seems to be going for simplicity and low cost. It's not the next-generation 6500, though to be fair that's maybe not what Ciena was aiming for."

What's not in doubt is that the metro market is hot and that data center connectivity is the application driving demand and excitement. It will also be fertile ground for the transport SDN debate that is raging currently, and which will be addressed in detail at the Big Telecom Event in Chicago (June 17-18).

Ciena has its own take on that topic, with its OPn architecture strategy making the case for greater optical layer programmability. As Adams puts it, "SDN networks are useless without a programmable hardware foundation." (See OFC: Ciena Smartens Up Photonic Layer.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see the agenda.


(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
ethertype
50%
50%
ethertype,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/11/2014 | 1:41:40 PM
Ciena infatuation?
Just noticed that the last THREE daily news emails in a row all led with a Ciena story.  "Ciena Soars on Strong Demand", "Ciena Hints at Big Product Announcement" and now this.  Should we conclude that Ciena boosted their advertising budget on LR recently, or just that you guys are in love?
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
6/10/2014 | 4:42:00 PM
Re: Seems decent to me
My comment on "simple" needs some elaboration. First, simple to explain and simple to make are 2 differnt things. Second, operators often prefer simple so it's not necessarily a knock.

What I was trying to get at with that comment was that the initial reaction is to compare the 8700 to new P-OTS products such as the NCS 4000, Coriant mTera, etc. The P-OTS value proposition tends to be a Swiss Army Knife with lots of modular features. The 8700 doesn't have alot of these features.

However, Ciena has told me that the 8700 is not aimed at these applications so the comparison could be unfair. But I'm still trying to get my head around the addressable market for this product/product type.

Sterling
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/10/2014 | 12:34:12 PM
Seems decent to me
I think most of the traditional transport vendors have kind of given up on developing a full IP/MPLS/transport platform just like the router vendors have kind of given up on integrated photonics.  The density for the size of the platform is good, 20x100G coherent DWDM in a 10RU platform is higher density than the PTX3K, with the PTX3K supporting 16x100G.  You can get 4 of each in a standard rack.   

The pictures show CFP plugable optics in the platform, so I'm curious if they have built their own with the Wavelogic chips.   The PTX3K has integrated optics in the PIC based on a NTT coherent chipset.  

The NCS4K right now is kind of vaporware and the true IP/MPLS support is maybe coming next year.   The 4K right now is just an OTN switch, the packet functions of the platform do not exist.  The 100G DWDM cards for the NCS4K are just transponders, you can't terminate traffic coming in the ports to other ports across the fabric.   It's really a glorified 15454/M6 at this point until they add additional functionality to it.  

Datacenter is the right play.   You know what you need if you want to do Nx100G between remote datacenters?   Another transport platform to do transponding to go along with your Ethernet switches, which this eliminates. 

 

 
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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 Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: Big Video Set to Disrupt

1|6|17   |   4:39   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's Adi Kishore talks about the challenges of managing and monetizing bandwidth-intensive video, and how service providers will need to transform their networks to cope with the big video explosion.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: IoT Set to Disrupt

1|5|17   |   7:07   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst of IoT, Steve Bell, tells Light Reading how the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform service provider markets, business models and mindsets, and how virtualizing the network core and Fog networking is key to meeting the agility and flexibility demands of IoT in the future.
LRTV Custom TV
Ensemble SmartWAN Explained

1|5|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Prayson Pate, CTO of the Ensemble division at ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the details around the recent Ensemble SmartWAN announcement from ADVA and its potential impact on the SD-WAN movement as it goes virtual.
LRTV Interviews
Telstra Shares Digital Dos & Don'ts

1|4|17   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Telstra's Managing Director of EMEA Tom Homer shares his insight into what makes a good partner in today's digital world.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Ericsson: 5G Heralds 'New' New Economy
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/12/2017
5G: Another Next-Generation Disappointment?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/10/2017
CES 2017: WIC's Picks & What Made Us Sick
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/10/2017
IBM, FDA Look to Blockchain to Secure Health Records
Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 1/12/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.