Light Reading
With several announcements planned for OFC 2014, MRV Communications is trying to push hard in the optical sector, a market it almost gave up on.

MRV Looking to Regain Momentum

Dan O'Shea
3/4/2014
50%
50%

OFC 2014 next week will find MRV Communications expanding its packet optical vision, yet arguably still in a battle for relevance in a changing optical sector.

The vendor is almost two years removed from a period of upheaval that saw MRV change out several executives and board members, while considering selling out of the optical networking sector before reversing course, committing to packet optical, and deciding to sell other assets instead (See MRV Takes Packet-Optical Path and MRV to Sell Assets.)

"The company is much more focused now," says Scott Wilkinson, senior director of technical marketing at MRV. Dave Stehlin, an optical sector veteran who had been president of MRV's optical communications systems division, was promoted to CEO to steer the company toward the packet optical horizon, and last year, MRV launched its OptiDriver optical networking line for datacenter, cloud, and content providers, initially with a 10G system. Earlier this month, MRV unveiled a 100G muxponder to address varying bandwidth needs beyond 10G, as well as a new ROADM (See MRV Announces OptiDriver Platform.)

At OFC 2014, MRV will showcase the OptiDriver line, including the latest additions, but Wilkinson tells Light Reading the vendor also will announce a new HTML5 version of its ProVision service orchestration software for provisioning optical and Carrier Ethernet. Wilkinson says a Tier 1 carrier advised the company to completely make over what was previously Java-based software. The revamp was also inspired by the intelligence inherent in the OptiDriver line, as well as MRV's future product plans to expand into integrated packet optical solutions, Layer 3 switching and application awareness.

"We needed a more powerful platform to support these things," he says. "We're talking to bigger carriers now with bigger requirements. That Tier 1 was guiding us toward a more Tier 1-grade product."

Also at OFC 2014, MRV will talk about how it is getting more deeply involved in the standards fray by joining both the Open Network Foundation and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) 's network functions virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group. Wilkinson says the company is well prepared for the imminent revolution in networking because it already uses a Linux-based operating system called MasterOS for its switching line.

"We're looking at separating the control plane from our switching to do a lot of other things," he says. "So, for example, our operating system itself could be a switch in a server between virtual machines."

These moves show that MRV, like many other vendors, is positioning itself for a future defined by software and virtualization. Yet, despite MRV's attempts to put organizational and strategic turbulence behind it, the small company still faces an uphill battle in the packet optical sector against a legion of giants. Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin says the company has lost momentum that will be difficult to regain.

"They are making moves to increase relevance in optics, including adding 100G and joining relevant standards groups, but none of this could be considered pioneering activity," Perrin says. "They are a very small player in a very crowded and competitive market, and a comeback will be a huge challenge. I don't see how it will be done."

Wilkinson acknowledges the challenge, but says MRV is playing a different ballgame from the larger vendors in the sector, and that customer reception to its recent moves has been positive.

"The Cienas and Alcatel-Lucents of the world are pursuing a different, broader tier of product," he says. "We talk to carriers specifically about metro and edge point-to-point packet optical transport needs, but even those customers are starting to want more, and we're following them up the food chain."

Still, with newcomer Coriant reintroducing the optical sector to the concept of consolidation in the last year or so, it's fair to wonder if a small firm like MRV can continue to remain independent and win its share of a rapidly changing market. For MRV's part, it declined comment on whether or not it could eventually revisit the notion of selling its optical assets.

Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Iluzun
50%
50%
Iluzun,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/5/2014 | 11:24:37 PM
Re: "I don't see how it will be done."
Html5 version of Pro-Vision 3.0 APIs for the network edge... http://www.mrv.com/sites/default/files/brochures/us_pdfs/mrv_pro-vision_brochure.pdf
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
3/4/2014 | 4:29:55 PM
Re: "I don't see how it will be done."
I belive there is more opportunity for them on the software side (SDN/NFV) than on the on the hardware side (100G), so maybe they have something unique to contribute in SDN/NFV. The same comment could be made about any non-tier 1 optical supplier. 

Sterling
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/4/2014 | 4:18:39 PM
Re: "I don't see how it will be done."
In regard to joining the standards groups, Wilkinson said MRV wants to "participate more formally," and it sounds like they have something to contribute or share in particular. Though I would agree that vendors also do this when they're in catch-up mode.
Iluzun
50%
50%
Iluzun,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/4/2014 | 1:18:06 PM
"I don't see how it will be done."
I don't know either, but they do appear 'focused' so perhaps the two years away from the publics radar has had some benefit.  Joining the two groups is either an atempt to catch up, or an oppotunity to share/lead.  What's the potential value in, "our operating system itself could be a switch in a server between virtual machines."?

Perhaps application aware networking is of value in the datacenter?  Does it provide 'context'?  Would this be of import to Orchestration?  How r the 'undrlay' & 'overlay' to be bound?  Would a SDDC require  for proper orchestration?  

Cloud, SDN, & NFV have opened the possibilities up to those "other things"...

 

 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
North KC Says Free Gigabit for All
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed