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Optical/IP

Calient Captures a Contract

After so much doom and gloom about the telecom industry in general and the outlook for all-optical switches in particular, it’s heartening to hear that the developer of what’s probably the most advanced 3D MEMS switch, Calient Networks Inc., has finally managed to unveil a real, live customer (see Japan Telecom Trials Calient Switch).

Japan Telecom, one of Japan’s big carriers, has been working with Calient, developing network designs and testing Calient’s DiamondWave switch for the past year. Today, the duo announced that they’ll move to pre-deployment trials, one in which end-to-end network configuration will be tested and live traffic will be handled by Calient’s switch. The next step, putting the switch into commercial use, is scheduled for a “January timeframe," according to Tim Dixon, Calient’s VP of marketing.

Dixon says that Japan Telecom plans to buy a “double digit” number of DiamondWave switches in the next 12 to 24 months. The switches will scale to 256x256 ports but are likely to have between 50 and 100 in their initial configuration, he says. They’ll be used in conjunction with GSR 12000 routers from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in a backbone boasting one of the first implementations of GMPLS (generalized multiprotocol label switching), according to Calient. GMPLS aims to provide the control systems needed to automate next-generation Internet infrastructure (see All-Optical Switching Tutorial, Part 1). In Japan Telecom’s network, it will be used for provisioning circuits on demand, and handling protection -- rerouting traffic around failures.

This indicates that Calient’s switch is likely to form an integral part of Japan Telecom’s core network. This doesn’t appear to be the case for the other contract for an all-optical switch placed by Japan Telecom -- for the LambdaRouter from Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU). It looks as though the LambdaRouter is being used as an automated patch panel, possibly between Japan Telecom’s submarine and terrestial networks (see Lucent's LambdaRouter Turns Japanese).

Dixon says there’s more good news in the pipeline from Calient. Its DiamondWave switches are in trials with “half a dozen” other service providers, which include a couple of major U.S. inter-exchange carriers, a couple of European PTTs, and a couple of data-oriented operators. Calient expects to be able to identify at least two of these potential customers “within the next month or two,” says Dixon.

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
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flanker 12/4/2012 | 7:37:38 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract ...another optical cross connect. Do they work for home security too? I'll buy a couple.
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 7:37:36 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract ...another optical cross connect. Do they work for home security too? I'll buy a couple.

Frankly, yes. It provides traction for all optical vendors (Lucent, Calient) in developing/gaining market space versus the Opaque switches (specifically Tellium, and to a lesser extent the others).

Looks like Lucent will reveal their whole picture on Wednesday.

Salute,
Manoflalambda
toll booth willy 12/4/2012 | 7:37:33 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Is it take or pay?
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 7:37:29 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Does LambdaRouter also have a GMPLS story? Any interoperability tests with Cisco, Juniper, or *gasp* NX64000 if that thing ever comes out? Any good network management options, or is it really a patch pannel like LR says?
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 7:37:27 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Does LambdaRouter also have a GMPLS story? ... Any good network management options, or is it really a patch pannel like LR says?

Yes, there is a story, don't have the details. Perhaps Wed webcast from Lucent will provide some of it.

When you get down to it, any cross-connect can be defined as an "automated patch panel..." :)

Salute,
Manoflalambda

psCalient may be just a "try and buy" in
the JT labs... trying to sort out the
spin.
petra 12/4/2012 | 7:37:24 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Didn't Japan Telecom just do a deal with Lucent for the Lambda Router?

Sounds like a research team gone mad somewhere inside Japan Telecom.

The real icing on the cake is GMPLS. No mention of revenue generation for JT based on GMPLS or how it will lead to OPEX savings. Just sexy technology for a company caught in time warp labotomy that allowed them to miss the last 12 months of reality.

And by the way, all transport products, ie, Muxes, ADMs, and Cross Connects, are all automated patch panels. In the days before the euphoria, the deployment of the aforementioned transport products was based not on whacky services (like Optical UNI and GMPLS) but on such tangibles as network restoration capabilities and OPEX savings.

Petra
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 7:37:23 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract the deployment of the aforementioned transport products was based not on whacky services (like Optical UNI and GMPLS)

I think in the near future GMPLS will go from a whacky service to a standard feature. It will be more and more necessary to automate connection creation on future cross connects since they keep getting more ports and switching capacity.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 7:37:21 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract GǣitGs heartening to hear that the developer of whatGs probably the most advanced 3D MEMS switch,Gǥ

GǣThe switches will scale to 256x256 ports but are likely to have between 50 and 100 in their initial configuration, he says.Gǥ

Hmmm me thinks I smell some marketing going on here. 3D MEMS, likely to have between 40 and 100 ports in initial configuration. Sounds like a 2D MEMS, probably a smaller size device matrixed up to make a bigger port count device now with something bigger in the works.

Paging Dr. Belzebutt for a consult.
Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 7:37:20 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Having a very compact 3D MEMS core has been one of Calient's unique selling points since day 1. I very much doubt that it's pulling a fast one by using a 2D MEMS core.

Calient has also poured a lot of effort into implementing MPLS controls. It has John Drake on staff, who's played an important role in standardizing MPLS.

On whether Japan Telecom is justing buying and trying the Calient switch - I wasn't able to talk to anyone at Japan Telecom so I'm less sure on this one. Calient certainly gave the impression that it was in the last stages of acceptance trials for a significant size project. I don't think Japan Telecom would have staged a press conference with Calient in Tokyo to announce this (as it did) if it was playing games. Japan Telecom is a big carrier, not another Broadband Office.
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 7:37:17 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Having a very compact 3D MEMS core has been one of Calient's unique selling points since day 1. I very much doubt that it's pulling a fast one by using a 2D MEMS core.

Peter,

When I saw your 50-100 quote, the first thing that popped into my mind was - Mirror YIELD. Perhaps their first few fabrics don't have enough low-loss connections to be usuable, hence they are screening for JT. Alternately, they are using a 256 fabric for duplex operations giving only 128 port capacity?

The simpler explanation is that they are only shipping with 50-100 IO ports/shelves, but not knowing their physical layout, that seems to be an odd thing to say in a press release.

Salute,
Manoflalambda
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