& 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. 
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
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.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
Orchestration Startup UBiqube Pivots Away From NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/15/2017
Verizon Video Woes Pile On
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/14/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.