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Ciena Links Up With Luminous

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
9/25/2003

Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) has made a strategic investment in Luminous Networks Inc. and signed a worldwide reseller agreement with the RPR startup (see Ciena Teams With, Invests in Luminous).

The move comes just 15 days after Ciena made a similar deal with edge router maker Laurel Networks Inc. (see Ciena Takes Stake in Laurel). Both potential deals were anticipated by Light Reading back in August (see Is Ciena Eyeing Luminous & Laurel?) and point to Ciena's ongoing campaign to extend its product capabilities by dipping into its $1.3 billion in cash and short-term investments to align itself with promising startups.

Neither Ciena nor Luminous are disclosing how much of Luminous' $25 million in new funding came from Ciena. But the companies say Ciena was one of two lead investors in this Series E round, along with DCM-Doll Capital Management.

The roster of Luminous' other investors and strategic partners is enormous and includes Scientific-Atlanta Inc. (NYSE: SFA), with which it has developed video-on-demand gear (see Scientific Atlanta Enables VOD).

A prepared statement from Luminous says the funding should see the company through to profitability in 2004. It brings Luminous' equity financing to over $173 million so far.

With this latest deal, as well as the Laurel one, Ciena is fleshing out its goal of becoming an end-to-end player in multiservice networking by increasing its edge capabilities. It's also a vote of confidence for RPR, which Ciena views as a growing market. Ciena spokesman Aaron Graham says Luminous has had solid traction with RPR not only in the Asia/Pacific region, where sources say the technology has been largely neglected until now, but also in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

At least one analyst sees the move as prescient on Ciena's part. "It is a sign that RPR is maturing, and carriers are starting to ask for it to support efficient transport of packet services. Not just Ethernet services, but legacy Layer 2 services, broadband access backhaul, and even storage over IP," says Scott Clavenna, chief analyst at Heavy Reading.

With Laurel and now Luminous, Ciena is also continuing a pattern it began with its 2002 investments in Équipe Communications Corp. and WaveSmith for core and edge multiservice switching (see Équipe Partners With Ciena, Scores $40M and WaveSmith Gets $30M, Signs With Ciena). Those deals culminated in Ciena's purchase of WaveSmith this year in a transaction valued at $158 million (see Ciena Nabs WaveSmith). Might Luminous be next?

Some industry sources have argued that Laurel should be a priority for Ciena, since IP routing is key to U.S. carriers right now. Still, Laurel may resist an outright buy, based on past behavior (see Laurel: Startup Holdout? ). It also could demand a high price – one Ciena may balk at, given its cautious approach to acquisitions.

For the time being, Ciena's hedging its bets, content with its staged investment strategy – and keeping options open. "We've shown before [that acquisitions are] not something we'd rule out," says Graham.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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rpm23
rpm23
12/4/2012 | 11:23:27 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
anyone have any numbers on RPR sales worldwide ??

at least one carrier, verizon, doesn't seem to be high on RPR. A person from verizon technology organization at a NFOEC 2003 talk say they see no strong value for RPR and are not going that way.

also, there seem to be some significant issues with QoS in RPR including priority inversion
where high priority traffic may receive low
priority treatment for significant periods of
time.
techathiest
techathiest
12/4/2012 | 11:23:21 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
It looks unlikely. If a startup in this environment has over 50 customers (I hope 50 networks doesn't mean few customers running 50 RPR rings) even before Ciena put in first dollar, it is unlikely to sell out cheap.
techathiest
techathiest
12/4/2012 | 11:23:21 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
>anyone have any numbers on RPR sales worldwide ??

There are few reports out there. E.g. Nortel's Optera 3500 sales get reported under RPR as well as Ethernet over SONET. Aside Ethernet over SONET term is very fuzzy. Any SONET equipment that has Ethernet ports and supports either X.86 or GFP mapping is labeled EoS.

>at least one carrier, verizon, doesn't seem to >be high on RPR. A person from verizon technology >organization at a NFOEC 2003 talk say they see >no strong value for RPR and are not going that >way.

Verizon is big organization with multiple groups. Equipment is choosen on basis of business and technical decisions. One person's view doesn't represent verizon's position.

>also, there seem to be some significant issues >with QoS in RPR including priority inversion
>where high priority traffic may receive low
>priority treatment for significant periods of
>time.

Remember Cisco's DPT having this issue. And that too under some pathalogical condition of traffic load. The 802.17 specs is different from DPT from what I understand.

Looks like you have studied 802.17 mechanism. Can you explain under what conditions priority inversion takes place and how it would be for significant amount of time ? I am very interested to know.
vinay
vinay
12/4/2012 | 11:23:18 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
anyone have any numbers on RPR sales worldwide ??

at least one carrier, verizon, doesn't seem to be high on RPR. A person from verizon technology organization at a NFOEC 2003 talk say they see no strong value for RPR and are not going that way.

also, there seem to be some significant issues with QoS in RPR including priority inversion
where high priority traffic may receive low
priority treatment for significant periods of
time.
-------------------------------

I think the information that you have is very outdated and incorrect. You need to read up the latest draft and see how far the RPR standard has progressed.

Vinay
rpm23
rpm23
12/4/2012 | 11:23:16 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
vinay,

my comment is based on the latest round of discussions going on in the RPR WG on this
topic. The original indication that priority
inversion was possible was raised by Jon
Schuringa i believe and a whole bunch of people
from att, cisco etc., have been doing detailed
studies on this. My understanding is that
deficiencies in the standard have been identified which have not been fixed in the latest 2.5 version.

If the above is incorrect, kindly provide concrete information as to how the above issue has been addressed (which section of draft etc.,)

ramesh.
rpm23
rpm23
12/4/2012 | 11:23:15 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
techathiest,

i believe there are two issues:

1. Best-effort traffic at some nodes may be starved (while other nodes can add best-effort traffic) in the presence of reserved/high priority traffic.

2. Priority inversion may occur.

see for example:

http://www.ieee802.org/17/docu...

not sure this is addressed in the 2.5 version of the standard.

ramesh.
rpm23
rpm23
12/4/2012 | 11:23:07 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
vinay,

i have not looked at 2.5, so i will take your word that these issues have been addressed there although i find it surprising that issues in a presentation from aug. 26:

http://www.ieee802.org/17/docu...

have been already addressed.

in any case, my point was that somewhat fundamental issues such as priority inversion
and fairness are still surfacing (by your own admission) and while they are being addressed, one would expect a fair amount of due diligence before its wholehearted acceptance by the carrier
community.
vinay
vinay
12/4/2012 | 11:23:07 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
Priority inversion was a issue raised several WG meetings ago for single transit implementations with limited buffering. That has been addressed. However, this is not a issue for the dual transit implementations. There has been simulations carried to show how fairness works with all possible combinations. There have been some technical comments raised about starvation for FE eligible traffic and priority inversion.
This and several other comments have been addressed in the P802.17/D2.5 which should be out in a week or so. As for starvation of the FE eligible traffic, this is not a issue if the prioritized traffic bandwidth management is done outside the MAC layer (MAC client).

Thanks
Vinay Bannai
wonderfull
wonderfull
12/4/2012 | 11:23:03 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
With several RPR players including Lantern,etc, why would Ciena partner with Luminous?

G
FiberFan
FiberFan
12/4/2012 | 11:23:01 PM
re: Ciena Links Up With Luminous
Wonderfull-
I can imagine there are many reasons that Luminous has been chosen above the others.

1. Luminous has played a leading role in 802.17 and have key folks working as writers or technical editors on various sections of the draft.
2. They have been widely deployed in the MSO space because of their Scientific Atlanta partnership
3. They have large deployments in China (some would argue the largest RPR deployements) with numerous carriers and partners.
4. Bottom line- They (or their partners) have customers.

Any other ideas? maybe Ciena likes their snappy logo or something.

That's my 2cents- Your thoughts?
FiberFan
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