Optical/IP Networks

Transport Vendors Pitch Platform Progress

With industry events underway in Europe and Asia/Pacific -- namely "WDM & Next Generation Optical Networks" in Monaco and CommunicAsia in Singapore -- a number of Carrier Ethernet and optical systems vendors have been storing up portfolio enhancements to shout about on the show floors. Here are the announcements, some of which do not even mention software-defined networking (SDN), that caught our eye:
  • Optical transport specialist Coriant has announced the availability of Intelligent Optical Control (IOC), a Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) system that the vendor's CEO describes as "SDN-plus." (Yeah, so this one does have an SDN angle…) Get all the details by reading our news analysis, Coriant Boasts 'SDN-Plus' System.
  • Transmode Systems AB has launched iAccess, an integrated access system, targeted at operators offering business Ethernet services and operating mobile backhaul connections, that includes the vendor's WDM PON system. WDM PON has been around for a while but the business cases for deployment are still few and far between -- this could open up a new avenue for this next-generation flavor of optical access. (See Transmode Unveils iAccess and Transmode Enhances WDM-PON Strategy.)
  • Back to SDN … and more backhaul focus. Accedian Networks Inc. has unveiled SkyLIGHT, a network performance system that comprises nodes and software tools for network information collection and analysis. The SDN angle? SkyLIGHT is designed to feed relevant information up to SDN and SON (self-organizing network) systems so those systems can "dynamically optimize usage of backhaul bandwidth in real-time." One of the major challenges facing network operators looking to benefit from the potential of SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) in wide area networks is figuring out how such approaches can work with the OSS systems that manage the existing infrastructure: This approach takes at least a step towards addressing those issues, as does the inclusion of OpenFlow-friendly APIs in the latest SPIT release from NetCracker Technology Corp. (See Accedian Taps Into SDN, SDN Nirvana Still a Distant Dream (Part 1) and NetCracker Tags SDN for Its OSS Update.)
  • Back in backhaul territory, ADVA Optical Networking has added a mini-Grandmaster (miniGM) clock and Boundary Clock functionality to its FSP 150 portfolio of Ethernet access products, stating that this has been added "to support the large-scale rollout of small cells for LTE-Advanced and radio access networks operating in unpaired spectrum." Grandmaster and boundary clock functionality is required for the synchronization of voice traffic over packet backhaul connections, so these are critical features to have for meeting mobile operators' needs. (See ADVA Adds miniGM for Backhaul.)
  • And "give it up" for Telco Systems (BATM), which managed to announce its compact Carrier Ethernet and MPLS aggregation platform, the T-Metro 8001, without mentioning SDN. Instead it is focusing on the "here and now" features and applications, including its 200GigE capacity. (See Telco Systems Unveils T-Metro 8001.) — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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