& 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"...

 

 
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.