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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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straight shooter 12/4/2012 | 7:37:16 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Manoflalambda says:

"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."

Clearly you don't understand network deployments. Not one crossconnect delivered in the past 15 years has gone in with all the port cards installed from day one. Typical deployments have port equipage in 30% to 50% range to give room for growth as the network build out progresses. The switch size has to be significantly larger than the initial port install, e.g. 256 ports, to accommodate this growth. And, of course, a carrier class product requires redundant switch core installations.
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 7:37:09 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract Article quote: The switches will scale to 256x256 ports but are likely to have between 50 and 100 in their initial configuration, he says

Clearly you don't understand network deployments.

Au contraire... I was wondering whether their proposed 256x256 chips are simply not fully functional at proposed losses. Of course you may only ship the initial bays with 1 port. But, what does "50 and 100" mean? Max port count due to shelves (doesn't make sense since you can always ship an IO shelf or bay) -or- max port count due to the fabric. "scale to 256x256 ports" implies a fabric upgrade in that case.

Typical deployments these days, to lower COGs, probably come with less than a shelf worth of ports.

Salute,
Manoflalambda
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 7:37:08 PM
re: Calient Captures a Contract GǣMax port count due to shelves (doesn't make sense since you can always ship an IO shelf or bay) -or- max port count due to the fabric. "scale to 256x256 ports" implies a fabric upgrade in that case.Gǥ

The comment of small size being able to be upgrade to 256 x 256 is what raised my eyebrow a bit.

It may indeed be a core with full capability and limited population of shelves, or then again it might be....GǣSmoke and MirrorsGǥ very bad pun.
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