The readiness of the 100Gbit/s Ethernet market was a topic of some debate during Light Reading's Big Telecom Event last week, but to vendor MRV Communications, there is little left to discuss.
"The 100 Gigabit Ethernet market is here; it is not theoretical," Zeev Draer, vice president of strategic marketing at MRV, told Light Reading during a booth visit at BTE. "We see demand for it from customers—not at very high volume, but from some prestigious customers."
Draer, who also talked up 100G during a BTE panel session, said the vendor already has a carrier customer (unnamed, alas) for its new OptiPacket OP-X1 Carrier Ethernet access platform that is providing 100GE circuits to a major shipping company.
The OP-X1, formally unveiled at BTE, offers 800Gbit/s capacity and a variety of 100 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s interfaces in a compact, low-power 2RU format, so it has flexibility for deliver 100G Carrier Ethernet over the last mile or multiple 10G paths from the same unit for portions of the market that just aren't ready for 100 GE quite yet. (See MRV Unveils 100G Access Platform.)
Though MRV has struggled through corporate financial and strategic issues in recent years, and is one of the smaller players in packet-optical, it's looking to cement its spot in evolving networks by being as multi-functional and flexible to future roadmaps as possible. (See MRV's New Refocuser Refocuses on Refocusing.)
Scott Wilkinson, senior director of technical marketing at MRV, said "You've got 800Gbit/s capacity here if you want to use this for aggregation, but you've also got something that essentially can be used as a 100G network interface device, and by the way, you've got OTN switching capabilities."
MRV also is trying to position itself to take advantage of the open networking and SDN/NFV movements. Its MasterOS is Linux-based, and the OP-X1 can leverage SDN for reprogramming of network devices, Wilkinson said. He and Draer said MRV is planning more software-related announcements for later this year.
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading