& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
Iluzun
50%
50%
Iluzun,
User Rank: Moderator
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: Moderator
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"...

 

 
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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 Custom TV
Energy 2020: Creating Unique Standards for Cable's Unique Networks

6|28|16   |   09:30   |   (0) comments


Cable's unique network requirements require a specific set of standards for operators to increase power efficiency, according to Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee, and Ian Oliver, managing director of the Trenchant Group and a member of the ...
LRTV Custom TV
It's Prime Time for NFV

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Ray Watson of Masergy talks about the adoption of NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Leading the NFV Capabilities

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Tim Naramore talks about Masergy's role in deploying NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Private Company of the Year - Affirmed Networks

6|27|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Steve Saunders speaks to Hassan Ahmed about Affirmed's success.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 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
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Netflix Queues Up Video Downloads
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2016
AWS CEO: Enterprise Data Center Is Doomed
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/21/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.