& cplSiteName &

Ciena Develops an SDN Controller

Ray Le Maistre
3/13/2014
50%
50%

SAN FRANCISCO -- OFC 2014 -- Ciena has begun developing an SDN controller based on source code from the OpenDaylight Project and is developing applications that can take advantage of more flexible network resource control.

Talking on the OFC show floor here, Marc Cohn, senior director of market development at Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and the company's SDN figurehead, told us the vendor is building a controller based on the OpenDaylight framework, with the aim of feeding its work back into the open-source project and ensuring that its controller will be open -- and able to manage assets in multivendor networks. (See OpenDaylight Unveils Open-Source SDN Controller and Defining SDN & NFV.)

Cohn said it is important to develop SDN capabilities that can address installed network elements that don't have integrated SDN protocol support, so Ciena is developing plug-ins to the OpenDaylight framework's service abstraction layer that will enable its controller to communicate with network elements managed using the legacy Transaction Language 1 interface.


"Defining Transport SDN" is one of a number of key topics that will feature at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE) June 17-18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers.


Like every other vendor, Ciena needs a unique selling point for its controller in a market that is awash with approaches to SDN implementation. (See NEC Intros SDN 'Controller of Controllers', Controller Freak, and OpenDaylight: Vendor SDN Aids Open Effort.)

In Ciena's case, this comes from analytics and application development, in addition to the promise of multivendor support. The company is embedding an analytics engine (developed by an unidentified partner) into its controller that will enable supporting applications. One such application is a capacity scheduling tool with dynamic pricing capabillities that Ciena was demonstrating here on the OFC show floor to extract real-time and historical information from the network.

The dynamic network capacity pricing tool was front and center at Ciena's truck-based booth and is an example of how the vendor is working to provide useful, revenue-generating applications to accompany its controller developments. In a nutshell, based on policy settings and information extracted from the embedded analytics system, the tool, run by a network operator, can provide a real-time price for network capacity to the service providers' customers based on the customer's contract, available capacity, and other parameters. End users can also schedule capacity and set a price based on predictive analysis of the network capacity that, based on historical data, should be available at any time.

Ciena says it is analogous to an airline seat booking system.

"This has been developed to help operators optimize their revenues and optimize network use," Cohn said. "They can also use pricing mechanisms to smooth out and influence demand for network capacity in an effort to utilize network resources better. It's all about intelligent scheduling."

Ten Four, Big Buddy
Ciena's main attractions were its truck, its dynamic capacity pricing and allocation presentation (just to the right of the truck door), and a vending machine that dispensed T-shirts. There's never a lack of demand for T-shirts...
Ciena's main attractions were its truck, its dynamic capacity pricing and allocation presentation (just to the right of the truck door), and a vending machine that dispensed T-shirts. There's never a lack of demand for T-shirts...

Ciena, which has long touted its work on making networks more flexible and "programmable," has been much in evidence at OFC this week. CEO Gary Smith opened the conference with a plenary speech that implored the industry to "play nice" and promote the benefits of intelligent networks. (See Ciena CEO: I'm So Excited!, Why Ciena Shuns the SDN Tag, and Ciena Opens Up to Software-Defined Networking.)

The company, which recently announced an intriguing relationship with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), recently announced a 17.8% increase in fiscal first quarter revenue from a year earlier to $533.7 million. (See Packet-Optical Drives Ciena's Sales, Ciena, Ericsson Embark on SDN, Optical Love Affair, Ericsson's Ciena Tieup: It's a Migration Thing, and IPoDWDM the Star of Ericsson-Ciena Show.)

Ciena's share price closed down 2% today at $23.39.

Addendum: In a post-interview update, Ciena noted that its SDN controller developments will, from now on, be conducted in collaboration with Ericsson.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, 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 Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
3/17/2014 | 8:18:59 AM
Re: Three of a kind
And just to add to the clarifications....

 

Ciena had been developing its SDN controller by itself but is now working on its controller develpoments with Ericsson.

 

A reference was made during my discusion with Marc about how this was a solo effort by Ciena, but that was not in particular reference to the SDN controller, so my apologies for any confusion caused on this message board.

Ray
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/16/2014 | 9:37:08 PM
Re: Three of a kind
I think both companies have adjusted their SDN controller strategies to incorporate the Open Dayllight work and support the 'open' approach. The key to this whole transformation process may be the ability to be flexible and not get locked into a strategy dictated by specific products, even those as significant as an SDN controller.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/16/2014 | 9:27:31 PM
Re: Three of a kind
I think that sounds sorta like Ciena was planning to do one on their own, but maybe changed plans when the Ericsson partnership came up...? In any case, and regardless of how many controllers Ciena and Ericsson have between them, there may still be too many controllers across the market from a variety of vendors and probably still more to come.
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/14/2014 | 4:55:45 PM
Fills a need
While SDN provides benefits, service providers can't reasonably expect to just rip everything out and start with a green field. Ciena's ability to work with existing hardware will be a benefit. 

Kudoes for the 70s CB radio reference. Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down, good buddy. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/14/2014 | 1:19:43 PM
Re: Three of a kind
Okay, folks, here's a clarification from Ciena on the controller situation:

"We will be doing joint development with Ericsson on an SDN controller. The joint development is initially focused on a SDN controller built on the OpenDaylight framework to provide multi-layer control across layers 0-3."

So, to Ray's point, Ciena isn't "flying solo" on this. 

Further from Ciena: 

"...we will continue to leverage some of the work/development we have already undertaken with SDN on layer 0-2 ....  We have also been involved in a number of lab and trial efforts with customers and partners that leverage some of our earlier SDN development."

So I hope we haven't muddied the waters too much here. 

Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
3/13/2014 | 11:43:50 PM
Re: Three of a kind
Yes, good point Carol.

I neglected to point out that Ciena is flying solo on this -- this is NOT a joint development with new friend Ericsson.

 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/13/2014 | 9:31:48 PM
Three of a kind
So Ciena and Ericsson, who are working together on SDN, will now have a total of three controllers in play: Ericsson's original controller, being tested by Telstra, the one Ericsson has pledged to built on Hydrogen, the Open Daylight controller, and now Ciena's also built on Hydrogen. 

I have to say it's not clear to me how all these controllers will work together or serve different functions. 
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
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Alan Bateman, Director, Agile Transformation
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
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.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP Systems' Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


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.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


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.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
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 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
Google Fiber Can't Be Called a Failure
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2016
FirstNet: A Billion-Dollar Boondoggle?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/26/2016
WiCipedia: Should Men Be Included? & Olympians Face Discrimination
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/26/2016
How the Padres Hit an IoT Home Run
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/25/2016
Google Fiber Downsizing Not Confirmed
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/25/2016
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
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.