"Web-scale" is fast becoming the optical transport sector's rallying cry and Ciena today bundled a bevy of announcements aimed at addressing the needs of cloud-oriented web-scale companies and applications, including new chipsets for its optical platforms, a new metro-focused software architecture and new solutions for high-bandwidth applications such as mobile backhaul.
While the web-scale influence quickly has become associated with the metro transport market, Ciena's expanded portfolio highlights the impact that web applications such as cloud and streaming services, in addition to web IT-inspired networking infrastructures, are having on all kinds of networks -- core, metro and access environments in national, international and submarine networks operated by everyone from 100-year-old-plus telcos, web giants founded in the past ten years and cloud data center operators that sprang up yesterday. (See New Ciena Products Target Web-Scale Evolution.)
"Whatever type of operator you are, you're now building in capabilities in your network to react to what the web-scale providers are doing and how it's affecting the network,” says Mike Adams, vice president of product and technical marketing at Ciena.
The new products include new chipsets in the Wavelogic family, namely the WaveLogic Extreme and WaveLgic Nano. The former is a capacity booster for Ciena's 6500 and 5430 packet optical platforms, while the latter, as the name implies, is streamlined for more economical, smaller-footprint, lower-power deployments in metro environments via Ciena's 8700 or 6500 platforms. The Nano looks like the next step in Ciena's metro storyline, which it advanced last year with the unveiling of the 8700 platform. (See Ciena Stirs Up the Metro Market.)
The vendor's new Coherent Select software architecture, meanwhile, leverages the flexible tuning capabilities of the WaveLogic chipsets to lend network operators more flexibility in addressing fast-changing bandwidth demands of web services. "It's a broadcast-and-select architecture, so you can select wavelengths and add and drop them as needed," Adams says. "As you transition the metro from 10G to 100G, you're going to need that flexibility."
While the new offerings have broad applicability to different network types and tiers, the timing of the announcement make them particularly relevant for the many metro 100G upgrades likely to occur during the next few years. (See Poll: Metro Apps Top of Mind for Optical and Metro 100G: Get Excited, but Not Too Excited.)
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading